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VOL. 3 



Group I. 

Foundations of the Nation 

Vol.i European Background of American 
History, by Edward Potts Chey- 
ney, A.M., Prof. Hist. Univ. of Pa. 

" 2 Basis of American History, by 
Livingston Farrand, M.D., Prof. 
Anthropology Columbia Univ. 

" 3 Spain in America, by Edward Gay- 
lord Bourne, Ph.D., Prof. Hist. 
Yale Univ. 

" 4 England in America, by Lyon Gar- 
diner Tyler, LL.D., President 
William and Mary College. 

" 5 Colonial Self - Government, by 
Charles McLean Andrews, Ph.D., 
Prof. Hist. Johns Hopkins Univ. 

Group II. 

Transformation into a Nation 

Vol. 6 Provincial America, by Evarts 
Boutell Greene, Ph.D., Prof. Hist, 
and Dean of College, Univ. of 111. 
" 7 France in America, by Reuben 
Gold Thwaites, LL.D., Sec. Wis- 
consin State Hist. Soc. 

Vol. 8 Preliminaries of the Revolution, 
by George Elliott Howard, Ph.D., 
Prof. Hist. Univ. of Nebraska. 

" 9 The American Revolution, by 
Claude Halstead Van Tyne.Ph.D., 
Prof. Hist. Univ. of Michigan. 

" 10 The Confederation and the Consti- 
tution, by Andrew Cunningham 
McLaughlin, A.M., Head Prof. 
Hist. Univ. of Chicago. 

Group III. 

Development of the Nation 

Vol. ii The Federalist System, by John 
Spencer Bassett, Ph.D., Prof. 
Am. Hist. Smith College. 

" 12 The Jeffersonian System, by Ed- 
ward Channing, Ph.D., Prof. Hist. 
Harvard Univ. 

" 13 Rise of American Nationality, by 
Kendric Charles Babcock, Ph.D., 
Pres. Univ. of Arizona. 

" 14 Rise of the New West, by Freder- 
ick Jackson Turner, Ph.D., Prof. 
Am. Hist. Univ. of Wisconsin. 

" 15 Jacksonian Democracy, by Will- 
iam MacDonald, IX.D., Prof. 
Hist. Brown Univ. 

Group IV. 

Trial of Nationality 

Vol, 16 Slavery and Abolition, by Albert 
Bushnell Hart, LL.D., Prof. Hist. 
Harvard Univ. 

Vol. 17 Westward Extension, by George 
Pierce Garrison, Ph.D., Prof. 
Hist. Univ. of Texas. 

" 18 Parties and Slavery, by Theodore 
Clarke Smith, Ph.D., Prof. Am. 
Hist. Williams College. 

" 19 Causes of the Civil Admiral 
French Ensor Chadwick, U.S.N., 
recent Pres. of Naval War Col. 

" 20 The Appeal to Arms, by James 
Kendall Hosmer, LL.D., recent 
Librarian Minneapolis Pub. Lib. 

11 21 Outcome of the Civil War, by 
James Kendall Hosmer, LL.D., re- 
cent Lib. Minneapolis Pub. Lib. 

Group V. 
National Expansion 
Vol. 2 2 Reconstruction , P olitical and Eco- 
nomic, by William Archibald Dun- 
ning, Ph.D. , Prof. Hist, and Politi- 
cal Philosophy Columbia Univ. 

" 23 National Development, by Edwin 
Erie Sparks, Ph.D., Prof. Ameri- 
can Hist. Univ. of Chicago. 

" 24 National Problems, by Davis R. 
Dewey, Ph.D., Prof essor of Eco- 
nomics, Mass. Institute of Tech- 

" 25 America as a World Power, by 
John H. Latane, Ph.D., Prof. 
Hist. Washington and Lee Univ. 

" 26 National Ideals Historically 
Traced, by Albert Bushnell Hart, 
LL.D., Prof. Hist. Harvard Univ. 

" 27 Index to the Series, by David 
Maydole Matteson, A.M. 


The Massachusetts Historical Society 

Charles Francis Adams, LL.D., President 
Samuel A. Green, M.D., Vice-President 
James Ford Rhodes, LL.D., 2d Vice-President 
Edward Channing, Ph.D., Prof. History, Harvard 

Worthington C. Ford, Chief of Division of MSS. 

Library of Congress 

The Wisconsin Historical Society 

Reuben G. Thwaites, LL.D., Secretary 

Frederick J. Turner, Ph.D., Prof. Hist. Univ. of 

James D. Butler, LL.D. 
William W. Wright, LL.D. 
Hon. Henry E. Legler 

The Virginia Historical Society 

Captain William Gordon McCabe, Litt.D., Pres- 

Lyon G. Tyler, LL.D., Pres. William and Mary 

Judge David C. Richardson 

J. A. C. Chandler, Professor Richmond College 

Edward Wilson James 

The Texas Historical Society 

Judge John Henninger Reagan, President 

George P. Garrison, Ph.D., Prof. Hist. Univ of 

Judge C. W. Raines 
Judge Zachary T. Fullmore 


Photograph by De Lancey Gill 





I 500-I 9OO 






Copyright, 1904, by Harper & Brothers. 





Editor's Introduction xiii 

Author's Preface xvii 

i. General Physiography of North America 

(1500-1900) 3 

11. Waterways, Portages, Trails, and Moun- 
tain-Passes (1500-1800) 23 

in. Timber and Agricultural Products of 

North America (1 500-1900) 39 

iv. Animal Life of North America (1500-1900) 54 

v. Antiquity of Man in North America . . 70 

vi. Classification and Distribution of the 

American Indians (1500-1900) .... 88 

vii. The Eskimo and the North Pacific Indians 

(1500-1900) 103 

viii. Indians of the Northern Interior and of 

the Lower Pacific Coast (1800-1900) . 117 

ix. The Indians of the Great Plains (1700-1900) 132 

x. Northern Tribes of the Eastern Wood- 
lands (1600-1900) 148 

xi. Southern Tribes of the Eastern Wood- 
lands (1600-1900) 163 

xii. Indian Tribes of the Southwest and of 

Mexico (1500-1900) 176 



xiii. Social Organization of the Indians (1500- 

19°°) *95 

xiv. Indian Houses, House Life, and Food 

Quest (1500-1900) 215 

xv. Indian Industrial Life and Warfare (1500- 

1900) 227 

xvi. Indian Religion, Mythology, and Art 

(1500-1900) 248 

xvii. Character and Future of the Indians 

(1904) 262 

xviii. Critical Essay on Authorities . . . . 272 
Index 291 


Relief Map of North America facing 5 

Mean Average Temperatures of North America 18 
Average Temperature at the Surface of the 

Earth, January 20 

Average Temperature at the Surface of the 

Earth, July 21 

Water Routes and Portages (in colors). . facing 25 

Main Zoogeographic Areas of North America 56 

Original Range of the Bison 63 

Distribution of American Indians about 

1500 (in colors) facing 91 

Territory of the Five Nations about 1650 . . 154 
Present Distribution of the Tribes of 

Indians, 1904 (in colors) facing 261 


HAVING in the first volume of this series dis- 
cussed the events, the national developments, 
and the institutions which preceded the colonization 
of America, the next step is to describe the land and 
the people of America as they were found by the 
Europeans. This volume, therefore, is intended 
once for all to set forth the physical conditions of 
colonization; for within twenty-five years after the 
discovery the Spaniard began to penetrate into the 
interior of North America, and to encounter the 
obstacles of rivers and mountains and the sterner 
opposition of native tribes. 

The general physiography of North America is 
familiar enough to readers. Professor Farrand, 
however, has in his first chapter set forth the condi- 
tions which affected the movement of Europeans 
westward and northwestward from the coast; and 
in his second chapter on waterways, portages, 
trails, and mountain -passes he brings out the net- 
work of intercommunication used by the Indian 
tribes and inevitably followed by the advancing 
white man. The avenues of trade were also the 
highways of settlement and the theatres of Indian 



wars, hence the significance of this preliminary de- 
scription of the routes of travel. 

The two chapters upon the agricultural products 
and animal life of North America are also the 
foundation for many discussions in later volumes of 
the series, not only because they affected the dis- 
tribution of the natives and of later settlers, but be- 
cause they underlie many of our present social and 
economic problems. The fur trade, the timber sup- 
ply, the cattle ranges, the areas of profitable cultiva- 
tion of wheat, corn, cotton, and other staple crops, 
have been throughout the history of the United 
States elements of immense importance; and Pro- 
fessor Farrand's summary of the scientific conclu- 
sions upon these subjects will serve as a basis for 
later writers in the series. 

Physical barriers have been easily overcome, but 
the human barriers were always more resisting. 
The special feature of this volume is, therefore, an 
account of the native Indians. This subject, to 
which Professor Farrand has given much of his life, 
is one upon which there is an immense literature, yet 
nowhere a single, brief volume surveying the whole 
ground. Professor Farrand has condensed in these 
pages the results of scientific investigations which 
have gone on for more than half a century, and by 
which the fleeting records of the civilization of the 
aborigines have been preserved. 

One of the most interesting chapters is on the 
vexed question of the antiquity of man in North 


America, which will be the more serviceable because 
of the writer's conservative results. The chapters 
on the distribution of the Indians give a description 
of the different geographic groups, combined almost 
for the first time into a brief statement, a view of 
the Indians as a race, and a statement of their sim- 
ilarities and their divergencies, ranging from the 
wretched Digger Indian to the intelligent and pros- 
perous Pueblo Indians, and thence to the Aztec civ- 
ilization. To most readers these chapters will be a 
revelation both of the common characteristics and 
of the great variety of customs among the native 

Chapters xiii. to xvii. take up the same subject 
with a different object — namely, the portrayal of 
the Indian character, life, business, and religion. 
Many conventional beliefs disappear in the light of 
this scientific investigation; for instance, that the 
Indian is naturally taciturn and solemn ; that there 
were cannibal tribes; that the Indian believed in a 
single Great Spirit. The description of the Iroquois, 
the people who most affected the history of Canada, 
New England, and the middle communities, will be 
found especially clear and interesting. For the 
portrait frontispiece has been selected Chief Joseph, 
of the Nez Perce tribe, an exceptionally able and 
characteristic Indian statesman. 

The critical essay on authorities is practically a 
select bibliography out of the immense literature of 
monographs and special treatises upon the general 


subject of the volume, and will enable the reader 
easily to follow out any favorite subject of study. 

Thus, upon a subject described and discussed 
since the earliest contact between the white and 
native races, the author has been able to throw a 
concentrated light, under which the physical basis 
is seen to furnish a reaction for the native peoples ; 
and these peoples stand out as substantially one, a 
race prepared from the beginning to' assert itself in 
the history of America. Later volumes will show 
how some tribes melted away, some fused with their 
conquerors, and some resisted steadily and exacted 
life for life before they yielded to white supremacy. 


THE present work is an attempt to describe, as 
fully as the limits of the book will permit, 
those features of North America and its native in- 
habitants which have been of greatest significance 
in the history of the United States. For the physi- 
cal features of the continent, numerous trustworthy 
works are available; for the fauna and flora there 
are various general treatises of value; while for the 
aborigines there is not a single comprehensive book 
of a satisfactory character. This lack has long been 
a source of embarrassment to students of American 
ethnology, and for that reason the chief emphasis in 
the following pages is laid upon the distribution and 
the culture of the Indians. 

The difficulties to be overcome in the preparation 
of a general descriptive account of the Indian tribes 
are not caused by lack of material. The systematic 
researches of the Bureau of American Ethnology in 
Washington, and of such institutions as the Peabody 
Museum of Harvard, the American Museum of Nat- 
ural History in New York, and the Field-Colum- 
bian Museum of Chicago, added to the accumulated 

products of individual writers, afford an enormous 



mass of available information. The task of the pres- 
ent volume, therefore, has been one of condensation. 
Of many omissions, ruthless but necessary, I am 
fully conscious and equally regretful. It is my hope, 
however, that the book may prove of some service 
as an introduction to the study of American eth- 
nology as well as to that of American history. 

I am grateful for this opportunity of acknowledg- 
ing my deep and constant obligation to my friend 
and colleague Franz Boas, whose extraordinary an- 
thropological learning and enthusiasm have been to 
me for years a source of inspiration, and whose 
judgment has been always at my disposal in the 
preparation of this volume. I wish also to acknowl- 
edge particularly the assistance of Mr. A. B. Lewis, 
who has co-operated at every stage of the work ; and 
of Dr. J. F. McGregor and Mr. C. B. Robinson, who 
gave indispensable aid in the treatment of topics 
with which they were especially familiar. 

Livingston Farrand. 





THAT the economic conditions of any people 
will be largely determined by their physical en- 
vironment is particularly true in the earlier devel- 
opment of a territory, before the increase and over- 
crowding of population through commerce and man- 
ufacture force an artificial adaptation to changed 
conditions. Environment also reacts upon the 
physical and mental constitution of the inhabitants 
and modifies and determines their culture. The 
industrial life of the Eskimo of the arctic is sharp- 
ly contrasted with that of the desert dwellers of 
Arizona and New Mexico; and the less tangible 
differences of temperament and mental character 
of the two groups are likewise to a large degree 
due to the variations of climate and soil. The 
contour of the land, by favoring or forbidding 



migration and the consequent contact of differing 
groups, also affects development of culture even 
among primitive peoples whose institutions tend to 
evolve along independent lines. Hence the political 
fortunes even of a people of high culture are large- 
ly dependent upon the physical geography of their 

A comprehensive history of the American nation 
must, therefore, be based upon an accurate ap- 
preciation of the features of the territory within 
which it is working out its future ; and the physical 
geography of the United States demands considera- 
tion not only of that portion embraced within the 
present political boundaries, but also of the general 
characteristics of the continent of North America 
as a whole. 1 

The great triangle of North America presents its 
base to the arctic and narrows to its apex in the 
tropics. This means that its greater area is included 
in high latitudes and ruled by a relatively severe 
climate. While the United States lies mainly in 
the southern half, roughly between the parallels of 
2 9 N. and 49 N., its greatest extent lies far enough 
north to gain the advantage which colder climates 
seem to possess in producing efficient racial groups. 

The character of the coast -line of a continent 
is a matter of prime concern in colonization or 
invasion, and becomes of constantly greater im- 

1 For general authorities on the physiography of the United 
States, see chap, xviii., below. 

?, o o O 

M goo 

0_ o \r. 


portance with the development of civilization and 
the growth of commerce. Hence the discussion of 
that coast is a convenient avenue of approach to 
the task of this volume. In general, the North 
American coast is irregular and broken, especially 
on the Atlantic shore. Deep bays and consequent 
peninsulas are common; yet of Labrador, Nova 
Scotia, Florida, Yucatan, Lower California, and 
Alaska, only Nova Scotia and Florida have lain 
within the main tracks of conquest and immigration. 
Yucatan is of interest chiefly as the seat of a re- 
markable native culture in pre-Columbian times; 
Labrador and Lower California have always re- 
mained little more than names upon the map ; and 
Alaska is just beginning to play a part in history. 

The indentations of the coast are of far greater 
historical importance. Hudson Bay, the Gulf of 
St. Lawrence, the Bay of Fundy, Massachusetts 
Bay, Buzzards Bay, Long Island Sound, Delaware 
and Chesapeake bays, Albemarle and Pamlico 
sounds, and the Gulf of Mexico with its branches, 
represent the great breaks of the Atlantic coast- 
line; while, in contrast, the Gulf of California and 
Puget Sound are the only considerable interruptions 
of the Pacific shore. The same difference marks the 
smaller bays and harbors. At frequent intervals 
along its stretch the Atlantic coast offers admirable 
protection for shipping; while on the entire Pacific 
coast of the United States there are practically but 
two natural harbors, that of San Francisco and the 


reaches of Puget Sound. The harbor of San Diego, 
near the southern line of California, though it 
affords a certain degree of shelter, is as yet of minor 
importance; and the mouth of the Columbia River 
is admirably situated for commerce, but the shallow- 
ness of its waters and the great bar at the entrance 
have thus far rendered it impracticable for vessels 
of deep draught. 

North of the United States boundary, on the 
Pacific, British Columbia and a large part of Alaska 
abut upon a fiord coast ; outlying islands and deep, 
narrow, cliff -bordered inlets make good harbors, but 
the adjacent interior is undeveloped and forbidding. 
A somewhat similar fiord coast is found on the 
Atlantic side, along the Canadian provinces and, 
to a greater extent, in Maine. The indentations of 
Maine, while comparatively shallow, offer in many 
cases excellent harbors. 

Massachusetts Bay, formed by the projection of 
Cape Cod, contains Boston Harbor, and the hospi- 
tality of the coast increases as one progresses south- 
ward. Narragansett and Buzzards bays are succeed- 
ed by the shores of Long Island Sound, with many 
small, protected havens, until at New York an ex- 
traordinary combination of unrivalled natural ad- 
vantages makes that point the most important 
centre of commerce on the continent. The depth 
of water, the strikingly favorable arrangement of 
the land about the mouth of the Hudson River, 
and the fact that the Hudson is the commercial 


gateway to the interior, have conspired to place New 
York beyond competition in the development of 
Atlantic ports. 

Delaware Bay is the estuary of the Delaware 
River; and Chesapeake Bay, still farther south, re- 
ceives the Susquehanna, the Potomac, and the James. 
Neither bay compares as a harbor with New York, 
but they have been of great moment, nevertheless, in 
the early and later history of America. From the 
Chesapeake southward to the extremity of Florida 
the indentations are fewer, smaller, and shallower, 
but are of great historical importance. The Gulf 
of Mexico is notable not only as the receiver of the 
Mississippi drainage, but as an element in modifying 
the climate of the country by its situation and by 
the ocean currents to which it gives rise. 

Of superlative importance not only as barriers 
to the spread of population, but also as influences 
modifying climatic conditions, are the mountain- 
ranges of a continent. In North America the most 
striking relief feature is the so - called Cordillera, 
an immense mountain chain stretching along the 
western area from Central America to Alaska. In 
reality it is a great plateau with a breadth of one 
thousand miles in the United States and with an 
elevation of from five to ten thousand feet. Upon 
this broad and lofty base rise various mountain- 
ranges running longitudinally north and south and 
reaching their greatest average heights in the Rocky 
Mountains of Colorado and in the Sierra Nevadas 


of California. North of the Sierras lies the Cascade 
range of Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. 
This chain is of volcanic structure, many of its 
peaks still retaining their crater formation. Reach- 
ing Alaska, the Cordillera breaks into a confusion of 
groups and irregular ridges, and presents the highest 
peaks of the continent, Mount McKinley, at the 
head of Cook Inlet, attaining an altitude of 20,464 
feet. South of the United States the Cordillera 
extends through Mexico and Central America, pre- 
serving the general character of the northern sys- 
tem — that is, a table-land of considerable height 
with detached ranges and peaks ; and in this region 
are many active as well as extinct volcanoes. The 
highest of them are Orizaba (18,250 feet) and Popo- 
catapetl (17,520 feet). 

Eastward from the Cordillera stretches the great 
central basin of the continent, which reaches the 
Atlantic at Hudson Bay, and is bordered throughout 
the United States by the Appalachian or Eastern 
mountain system. The only elevation of promi- 
nence which breaks the monotony of this ex- 
panse is made by the geographically unimportant 
Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, Missouri, and Indian 
Territory, rising but slightly over three thousand 

The Appalachians, on the other hand, have played 
a most important part in the history of the nation : 
they extend from Nova Scotia in a southwesterly 
direction through the eastern states to Alabama and 


Georgia. The Appalachians are not a continuous 
range and exhibit many breaks and groups, but 
may nevertheless be regarded as a single system. 
Their highest points are found in the White Moun- 
tains of New Hampshire and the Black Mountains 
of North Carolina, which reach altitudes of over 
six thousand feet ; the central part of the system is 
seldom over three thousand feet in height, and 
usually less. 

Tracing this system from the north, the most 
striking gap in its continuity is made by the Hudson 
River, with its extension up the valley of the Mo- 
hawk to the Great Lakes and down the valley of 
Lake Champlain to the St. Lawrence. This leaves 
the Adirondack Mountains of northern New York 
as an isolated group, and quite cuts off the Appala- 
chians of New England and eastern Canada from 
the ridges of the south. In New England there are 
two well-marked groups of elevation, separated by 
the Connecticut River — the Green and the White 
mountains, which reach their greatest heights in 
Vermont and New Hampshire ; yet nowhere in New 
England is there a sufficient elevation to offer any 
very decided obstruction to migration and com- 

West and south of the Hudson Valley rises the 
central division of the Appalachians, presenting 
several detached groups of eminences, of which 
the Catskill Mountains, in southeastern New York, 
are the most conspicuous. In Pennsylvania, New 


Jersey, and the Virginias appears what may be 
considered the typical formation of the Appalachian 
system: here is found a relatively narrow plateau 
from seventy to two hundred miles in width, limited 
by the Blue Ridge on the east and the Alleghany 
mountains on the west. The central valley thus 
contained extends south practically to the termina- 
tion of the range in the Gulf states. It is broken 
here and there by intersecting lines of hills, usually 
placed longitudinally, which form a great number 
of minor valleys, but the general character of the 
great central depression is nowhere lost, and it 
early took the significant name of "The Valley." 

The arrangement of the relief of the continent 
breaks the lowlands into several belts. Lying be- 
tween the Cordillera and the Appalachians, and 
occupying the greater portion of the continent, is 
the great central basin of North America. Ex- 
tending as it does from the extreme north to the 
extreme south, it exhibits wide variations in climate, 
and hence in superficial character. In the north it 
is cold and barren; between latitudes fifty and 
sixty degrees it is covered for the most part with 
forests; while from fifty degrees southward stretch 
on the west the dry and treeless great plains and 
on the east the more fertile prairies. 

The great plains extend from the base of the 
Rocky Mountains eastward, and without definite 
boundary merge irregularly into the prairies of the 
trans - Mississippi states, and drop off southward 


until they disappear in the richness of vegetation 
brought about by the increased rainfall of Mexico 
and Central America. They are not an unbroken 
expanse of level territory, but are often hilly and 
almost always rolling in character. The deep 
valleys cut by the intersecting streams further 
break the monotony of the region. The excessive 
dryness of the plains has prevented any large growth 
of population, but the discovery that they afford 
admirable grazing for horses, cattle, and sheep has 
brought about a development of that industry which 
has been of great significance in the growth of the 
United States and in the westward movement. 
The prairies, the remarkably fertile lowlands of the 
middle west, are seen at their best in the states of 
Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana, but extend well into 
Ohio, and were the chief attraction to early migra- 
tion from the Atlantic states. 

East and south of the Appalachian barrier lies a 
narrow strip of lowland, the Atlantic coastal plain, 
the seat of much of the early colonization. The 
water boundary of the plain is shallow, and from 
New Jersey to North Carolina is fringed with reefs 
which have forced the commercial settlements of 
the strip back upon the estuaries of the rivers drain- 
ing the slope. 

South from the Carolinas the Atlantic plain 
sweeps around the southern end of the Appalachian 
Mountains and merges into the coastal plain of the 
Gulf, which in turn extends south along the Texas 


shore into Mexico. The Gulf plain is broken and 
hilly in the interior, but as it approaches the coast 
spreads into flat and rather marshy prairies. The 
state of Florida offers a peculiar modification of the 
Atlantic plain, and appears to be a slight upheaval 
of the sea bottom. The most distinguishing feature 
of the Florida peninsula is the impenetrable wilder- 
ness in the south known as the Everglades. 

West of the Rocky Mountains in the United 
States a wide plateau of lava formation appears in 
the country drained by the Columbia River and its 
tributaries. This area lies chiefly in Idaho, Oregon, 
and Washington, and was the first point occupied 
in the settlement of the Pacific slope from the 
east. South of the Columbia plateau stretches an 
arid territory including Nevada, parts of Utah and 
Arizona and southern California. Through this 
desert the Colorado drains to the Gulf of California, 
and it is the only considerable river of the area, the 
other streams all losing themselves in the dry soil. 
Between the ranges of the Pacific slope lie valleys 
and plains of greater or less extent, the most im- 
portant being the central valley of California, the 
Willamette of Oregon, and the lowlands about 
Puget Sound, in Washington. 

A striking and significant feature of North 
America is the chain of Great Lakes — Ontario, 
Erie, Huron, Michigan, and Superior — inland seas 
of fresh water, forming the political boundary be- 
tween the United States and Canada. These lakes 

i 9 oo] PHYSIOGRAPHY 13 

drain an immense area in the interior of the con- 
tinent, and their waters reach the Atlantic through 
the St. Lawrence. Other great inland bodies of 
water are Great Bear, Great Slave, and Athabasca 
lakes in the north, which empty into the Arctic 
by way of the Mackenzie River; lakes Winnipeg 
and Manitoba and Lake of the Woods, which drain 
into Hudson Bay, and certain desert lakes, such as 
Great Salt, which have no outlets. In addition 
there are thousands of smaller lakes" and ponds, 
particularly in the northern tier of states and in 
central Canada, the depressions which they fill 
having been formed for the most part by the 
grinding of the great Laurentian glacier. 

Generally speaking, the drainage of North Amer- 
ica is into the Atlantic Ocean, and the larger part 
goes through the outlet of the great interior basin, 
the Mississippi, with its chief tributaries, the Mis- 
souri, Ohio, Arkansas, and Red rivers ; or through the 
St. Lawrence, with its lake supply. The northern 
part of the basin is drained into the Arctic by the 
Mackenzie and into Hudson Bay by various 
streams, notably the Nelson River. East of the 
Appalachian barrier the narrow coastal plain is 
drained by a large number of streams of relatively 
short flow, of which the chief are the Kennebec, 
Connecticut, Hudson, Delaware, Susquehanna, Poto- 
mac, and James, all of which cut their way through 
the mountain ridges to reach the sea, and all of 
which played a part in determining early settlement 


and provincial boundaries. Farther south the 
Roanoke, Yadkin, Catawba, and Savannah may 
be mentioned, while the southern plain is drained 
into the Gulf of Mexico by the Appalachicola, the 
Alabama, and other small streams besides the lower 
waters of the great Mississippi. 

The true continental watershed runs irregularly 
through the Rocky Mountains, and west of that 
barrier the drainage is to the Pacific, except for a 
few enclosed basins. The chief western streams are 
the Colorado to the Gulf of California, the Columbia 
and the Fraser to the ocean, and the Yukon into 
Bering Sea. 

Geologically speaking, the record of North Amer- 
ica is simple. The oldest part of the continent is 
doubtless the Laurentian plateau in eastern Canada, 
with its extension south represented by the Adiron- 
dacks of New York, and a considerable area about 
the Great Lakes. From this centre the emergence 
seems to have been progressively westward. The 
Laurentian uplift was evidently in the earliest 
geological periods, for the structure of the rocks 
and the character of the deposits argue a formation 
deep beneath the earth's crust, with a subsequent 
upheaval and gradual denudation, requiring ages to 

The Cordilleras of the west are, on the contrary, 
comparatively recent and exhibit the results of late 
volcanic action. In Mexico active volcanoes still 
exist, and in Alaska they are not entirely extinct, 

i 9 oo] PHYSIOGRAPHY 15 

Many of the basins and valleys of the system are 
vast lava beds, forming in certain regions exten- 
sive low plateaus, as in the drainage area of the 
Columbia River. 

A matter of prime importance for the geologist 
and for the student of race distribution is the 
record of a great glacial sheet which in very recent 
geological times spread over practically all of 
Canada and a large part of the United States. 
It extended south over New England and New 
York to the Ohio River, and westward over the 
prairies and a portion of the great plains. The 
erosive action of this glacier has been of great 
significance. With its retreat was discovered the 
great level extent of prairie land, where the drift 
deposit has produced most fertile soil. Along the 
northern frontier of the United States, and through 
eastern and central Canada, the ragged track of 
the ice sheet is marked by the thousands of lakes 
and watercourses which distinguish that area. 

The mineral deposits of the continent are rich 
and varied. Of these coal is one of the most 
important, and, in the east at least, is so universally 
distributed that there is no habitable portion of the 
United States many miles distant from a natural 
supply. 1 The interior and far west are less favored, 
but there are, nevertheless, many spots in which 
coal is found. The Mexican deposits are rich but 
undeveloped. In 1902 the United States produced 

1 Shaler, United States of America, I., 428. 


about one-third of the entire coal supply of the world, 
with an estimated value of $3 6 7, 000, 000. * 

Iron is also of great importance and widely dis- 
tributed, and in recent years the value of the out- 
put in the United States has exceeded that of coal. 
In 1902 seventy -six per cent, of the ore came from 
the Lake Superior district, while Alabama followed 
with ten per cent, of the product. Other metals 
of which the annual yield in the United States ex- 
ceeds a value of $1,000,000 are, with their approxi- 
mate values in millions, gold (80), copper (77), silver 
(29), lead (22), zinc (14), aluminum (2), and quick- 
silver (ij). Numerous other metals are pro- 
duced in smaller quantities. Gold is found in 
considerable abundance in several of the western 
states and in Canada, Alaska, and Mexico. Silver is 
also a metal of wide distribution, and Mexico leads 
all countries of the world in its production. In the 
output of copper Montana is in the lead, with the 
Lake Superior region second. Lead is produced 
mainly in the West ; Kansas leads in the production 
of zinc ; and California is first in quicksilver. 

Among the non- metallic mineral products are 
many of great significance and value, such as petro- 
leum, natural gas, clay, borax, gypsum, salt, etc. 
Nearly all the mineral materials needed in the in- 
dustrial life of the United States are found within 
its borders and in sufficient quantities. Those 

1 See for these and following figures, U. S. Geol. Survey, Re- 
port on Mineral Resources of U. S. for IQ02. 


most largely imported are tin, antimony, platinum, 
nickel, sulphur, and precious stones. 

The climate of North America naturally varies 
greatly, depending on latitude, the general atmos- 
pheric circulation or direction of the prevailing winds, 
and the form and relief of the land areas. The 
influence of latitude is evident as we proceed from 
the tropical climate of Central America to the arctic 
climate of the far north. The greater part of the 
continent lies within the region of the anti-trades 
or prevailing west winds, and as a consequence the 
Pacific coast has an insular climate, moist and with- 
out great extremes of temperature. As the moun- 
tains lie near the coast, the winds soon lose their 
moisture, and the interior region east of the coastal 
ranges has but a slight rainfall and is largely arid 
or desert, presenting the wide extremes of temper- 
ature and rather light rainfall which are character- 
istic of a continental climate. 

The rainfall gradually increases as we approach 
the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, the great 
sources of supply for the eastern region. The 
effect of the difference in climate brought about by 
the prevailing winds, tempered as they are by the 
surface over which they have blown, is seen in the 
difference between the climates of similar latitudes 
in Labrador and southern Alaska. Proceeding 
from the region of the anti-trades to that of the 
trade winds, the conditions are reversed, and it is 
now the east coast which receives the rainfall. The 

VOL. II.— 2 



X00 300 500 750 JOOO 

;l| )° longitude Weat 9J0" from Greenwich 8pjp||v & co.-, nV 7 'q° 


difference is exhibited to a certain extent even in the 
United States in the increased rainfall on the 
southern Atlantic coast, and in the dry climate of 
southern California, but is more noticeable in 
Mexico and Central America. The contrast between 
the extreme temperatures of a continental climate 
and the more uniform conditions of a coastal climate, 
especially to the windward, may be readily seen by 
comparing the isothermal lines for January and July. 
The islands belonging to North America are 
numerous and important. Excluding the arctic 
archipelago, which is composed of a number of 
land masses of almost continental size, the only 
large islands in the North Atlantic are Newfound- 
land, opposite the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Cape 
Breton, in the Gulf, and Long Island, off the mouth 
of the Hudson River. The tropic seas to the 
south abound in islands collectively called the West 
Indies; they include the Greater Antilles, Cuba, 
Haiti, Jamaica, and Porto Rico, and the Lesser 
Antilles, a chain of small islands stretching in a 
curve from Porto Rico to the South American coast, 
including among others Guadeloupe, Martinique, 
Barbadoes, and Trinidad. Southeast of Florida and 
north of Cuba are the Bahama Islands, on parallel 
2 5 N. The West Indies are, geologically, a partially 
submerged mountain -range, and many of the smaller 
islands retain a volcanic character. Embraced by 
the West Indies and the shores of Central and South 
America is the Caribbean Sea, 


Off the Pacific coast the only islands of importance 
are Vancouver, north of Puget Sound and opposite 
the international boundary ; and the Aleutian group, 
far to the north, which stretches from the Alaskan 
peninsula nearly to the coast of Asia and forms 
the southern limit of Bering Sea. 

From even this rapid survey of the continental 
features the infinite variety of natural advantages 
which North America offers to man is clear. By 
its extensive mineral deposits, by the adaptability 
of its soil and climate to the development of agri- 
culture in every form, and by its contour which ad- 
mits of easy distribution, it is fitted by nature for 
the support of an enormous population. 




THE two most important factors in the ex- 
ploration and settlement of a country are the 
waterways and mountain systems — the one an 
assistance to travel, the other an obstacle. In the 
sheltered bays, inlets, and rivers of the Atlantic 
coast of North America the early European settle- 
ments were mostly placed ; but some locations were 
chosen well inland, up the larger rivers, and often 
near the head of navigation for sea -going vessels 
— for example, Quebec and Montreal on the St. 
Lawrence, where the lower shores were forbidding; 
and the settlements on the James and the Delaware, 
where fear of attack by sea determined the sites. 

From these points as bases the early exploration 
and settlement of the country extended, and the 
significance of the rivers and streams at once be- 
came evident. 1 The dense forests, where the only 
road was the narrow Indian trail, were not passable 
except on foot; even pack animals could be used 

* For the authorities, see chap, xviii., below. 

2 3 


with difficulty. The streams, however, offered a 
ready means of transport and the light birch-bark 
canoe, which could be shouldered over the necessary 
portages, made it possible for the early voyageurs to 
penetrate far into the heart of the continent, carry- 
ing their merchandise for barter and returning with 
their bales of furs. River travel on east and west 
lines involved crossings from one stream to another ; 
hence a point of great interest to the pioneer was 
the portage. 

From the Atlantic seaboard the St. Lawrence 
and the Great Lakes offered the readiest access to 
the interior of the continent, and as a natural con- 
sequence we find the French, the settlers of the 
St. Lawrence basin, the first explorers of a large 
part of the interior of North America ; and this, too, 
before the English farther south had even passed 
the Alleghanies. By portages from Lake Superior to 
Rainy Lake and thence to Lake of the Woods, the 
French gained the northward-flowing streams and 
penetrated to Hudson Bay and far into the Canadian 
northwest. Their successors, the English and Scotch, 
of the fur companies, were the first to reach the 
Pacific coast from the interior. It is interesting, 
too, that the first portage to the Mississippi Valley 
discovered by explorers was one of those lying 
farthest west — that from the Fox River to the 

The place and convenience of these portages were 
well known to the Indian, and the European as a 


rule merely followed the trail of the savage. Their 
importance in the early occupation of the country is 
attested by the fact that forts were immediately 
established on most of the main portages ; and in the 
French and Indian wars such places as Crown Point, 
Schenectady, and Presque Isle indicated lines of 
attack and defence. Since these routes followed 
the lowest and easiest ways over the watersheds 
between the river valleys, wagon-roads and railways 
were eventually built along the same lines, which 
thus exerted a marked influence both on the early 
movements of population and the more recent de- 
velopments of commercial centres. 

In Canada one of the most important portages 
was that from the upper Ottawa to Lake Nipis- 
sing, from which the French River was followed 
to Georgian Bay and Lake Huron. The route left 
the Ottawa by way of the Mattawa River, up 
which it passed to Trout Lake; thence across the 
low divide by an easy carry to Riviere de la Vase, 
a small stream emptying into Lake Nipissing, 
about five miles south of North Bay. This is 
nearly the line of the Canadian Pacific Railway. 1 
In the early days of the occupation this was the 
main route to the West, more used than a second 
passage from Lake Ontario by the river Trent 
across to Lake Simcoe and thence to Lake Huron. 

From the upper end of Lake Superior two well- 
known portages led over the divide to the waters 

1 Geol. Survey, Canada, Annual Report, 1897, X., H. 12. 


of the Northwest: the Grand Portage, from the 
bay of that name, or from Pigeon River, which 
empties into it, across to Rainy Lake and Lake of 
the Woods; the other from Thunder Bay up the 
Kaministiquia and Dog River, and across by Lac 
des Mille Lacs and Sturgeon Lake and River to 
Rainy Lake. The latter was the route commonly 
followed by the early fur -traders; and the North- 
west Company later established one of its principal 
stations at Fort William on Thunder Bay. This 
route was of great assistance in the construction of 
the Canadian Pacific Railway, which also runs from 
Fort William up the Kaministiquia and crosses the 
divide not far from the old portage trail. 

From the Great Lakes to the Mississippi basin 
there was a choice of paths. In the Northwest the 
French often crossed from the head of Lake Superior 
to the upper Mississippi by way of the St. Louis 
River. The most important portage, however, was 
probably that which led from the Fox to the 
Wisconsin River, first used in 1673 by Joliet and 
Marquette, 1 and later the site of Fort Winnebago. 
At the southern end of Lake Michigan an important 
trail led from the Chicago to the Des Plaines and 
so to the Illinois, on the same line as the present 
Chicago Drainage Canal ; the portage was from four 
to nine miles in length according to the season. 
Other carrying-places of that region were from the 
Calumet to the Des Plaines, and from the St. 

1 Jesuit Relations (Thwaites' ed.),LIX., 105, 107. 


Joseph to the Kankakee; but that from the St. 
Joseph to the Wabash was the principal channel 
of supplies for the early settlers at Vincennes. 

On account of the hostility of the Iroquois Ind- 
ians, the portages from Lake Erie were not much 
used until the eighteenth century, but later became 
of great importance. On the west there was one 
well-known and much-frequented portage from the 
Maumee to the Wabash which varied from eight to 
twenty miles in length. Its eastern end is marked 
by the present town of Fort Wayne. Two portages 
led from the Maumee to Loramie Creek, a branch 
of the Great Miami. General Wayne built Fort 
Loramie near the southern end of these portages in 
1794. Other carries were from the Sandusky to the 
Scioto; from the Cuyahoga, near the present city 
of Akron, Ohio, to the Tuscarawas and the Musk- 
ingum, and from the neighborhood of Ravenna 
to the Mahoning; from Lake Erie at Presque Isle 
(the present site of Erie) to the French Creek and 
the Alleghany; and from Lake Erie to Chautauqua 
Lake and thence to the Alleghany River. 1 The 
carry around Niagara Falls was, of course, much 
used, though there was another route from Lake 
Ontario by portage to Grand River and thence to 
Lake Erie. 

One of the most important portages in the early 
history of the colonies was the ''Oneida," which 
varied with the stage of the water from four to 

1 Young, Hist, of Chautauqua County, 37-44. 


eight miles in length. It led from the Mohawk 
Valley to Wood Creek, a tributary of the Oswego, 
and so to Lake Ontario. This was the strategic 
point on the route from New York and the Hudson 
to the Great Lakes. In 1732 Fort William was 
erected at the Mohawk terminus, where is now the 
city of Rome, and in 1758 this was replaced by the 
famous Fort Stanwix. Forts were also established 
near the other end of the portage. 1 

Another series of much - frequented carrying- 
places were on the "Grand Pass" leading from the 
valley of the Hudson into Canada, the line of 
numerous French invasions from the north and of 
Burgoyne's expedition in 1777. The main portage 
of this route, that from the Hudson to Lake George, 
was about fifteen miles long and was guarded by 
Fort Edward on the Hudson and by Fort William 
Henry at the southern end of Lake George. An- 
other important portage on this route was from 
Lake George to Lake Champlain, guarded by Fort 
Ticonderoga. Still another route between the Hud- 
son and Lake Champlain was from Fort Edward, 
northeast over a portage of about eleven miles 
to Wood Creek and down that stream to the lake. 
Fort Ann was built on Wood Creek to protect this 

Farther east a number of portages led from the 
rivers of New England to the St. Lawrence basin — 

1 Sylvester, Northern New York and the Adirondack Wilder- 
ness, 280. 


for example, the important Indian trail from the 
Connecticut to the St. Francis ; that from the Kenne- 
bec and Dead River to the Chaudiere, crossed by 
Arnold in 1775 / and several from the headwaters of 
the St. John northward. 

From the Atlantic coast to the Ohio Valley the 
main portages were from the Susquehanna to the 
Alleghany near Kittanning ; from the Juniata to the 
Alleghany, the present route of the Pennsylvania 
Railroad ; and from the Potomac to the Monongahela, 
via Wills Creek, the line of Braddock's march. 
Farther south the portage probably most used 
was from the headwaters of the James to the 
Greenbrier branch of the Kanawha. These south- 
erly routes, though important Indian trails, were 
never much used by the whites, because the streams 
were not favorable to navigation by large boats; 
moreover, the trails were long and rough, and lay 
to one side of the main lines of travel. The more 
northern routes to the upper Ohio were also too 
long and difficult to be of much value for the 
transport of goods in colonial times. 

To the settler, with his household goods and 
farming implements, falls and rapids made the 
Appalachian streams practically impassable for his 
transportation, and wagon-roads were indispensable 
for his movements on land. Such roads are ordi- 
narily not built until demanded by military opera- 

1 Smith, " Arnold's Battle with the Wilderness," in Century 
Magazine, LXV., 529. 


tions or extensive movements of population. Hence 
the spread of population on the Atlantic seaboard 
proceeded rapidly enough up-stream to the heads 
of navigation, but from those points inland prog- 
ress was much slower and was entirely checked by 
the mountain-ranges until roads were constructed 
across them. 

Of all the routes by which the Appalachian 
barrier could be crossed, the most favorable in the 
north was by way of the Hudson and Mohawk 
valleys to the lakes ; but it was closed to the early 
settlers by the Iroquois, though subsequently of 
immense importance. A second route was from 
the headwaters of the Mohawk to the upper Alle- 
ghany. A third route was through southern Penn- 
sylvania to the Monongahela and so to the Ohio 
River. The fourth well-travelled route was by the 
broad Appalachian Valley to the southwest and out 
through Cumberland Gap or the valley of the Ten- 
nessee to the more open country beyond. It would 
also have been possible to go around the southern 
end of the Appalachian chain, but this way was 
closed until comparatively modern times by the 
Cherokee Indians. In the first settlement of the 
Ohio Valley the routes by Cumberland Gap and 
the Tennessee were the most important; but with 
the later improvement of the more direct roads 
through Pennsylvania these roundabout paths fell 
into disuse. 

The discovery of these ways was not a matter of 


chance, in every case they followed more or less 
closely the line of an Indian trail. 1 In crossing 
the divides and mountain-ranges the trails followed 
the gentlest slopes and traversed the lowest gaps; 
but elsewhere they kept to the higher levels, follow- 
ing the ridges and uplands between the valleys in 
order to avoid swamps and streams. As the Ind- 
ians travelled in single file their trails were merely 
narrow runways through the forest, often worn to a 
depth of a foot or more and winding about to avoid 
obstacles. In addition to the trails of the Indian 
there were also the tracks of the buffalo, though 
the two often followed the same path, especially 
across the mountain passes. 

The Indians at times travelled great distances, and 
many of their trails connected widely separated 
regions. Some of the more extensive of these 
primitive lines of communication became widely 
known under special names. In New England im- 
portant trails led from different points of the coast 
up to and beyond the Connecticut Valley, one of 
the best -known being the Old Connecticut Path 
from Boston, by way of Grafton, Oxford, and 
Springfield, to Albany. 

The most famous Indian thoroughfare in New 
York was the great Iroquois war -trail from the 
Hudson up the Mohawk Valley and westward 
along the water-shed to the Niagara River. It was 
the great highway connecting the different tribes 
1 Hulbert, Indian Thoroughfares. 


of the Iroquois with one another and with the : 
regions to the east and west. 

In Pennsylvania there was an important trading 
trail running from Philadelphia up the Susquehanna 
and Juniata, across the Alleghany Mountains by 
Kittanning Gorge and down to the Alleghany 
River. A branch of this trail ran farther south 
by way of Raystown (Bedford) to the junction of 
the Alleghany and Monongahela. To this point 
also ran a trail from the Potomac, sometimes called 
Nemacolin's Path, from the name of a Delaware 

One of the most noted of the early trails was the 
Great Indian War-path of Virginia, up the Shenan- 
doah Valley, across the headwaters of the New 
River to the upper Hols ton, and on down to the 
Cherokee territory of east Tennessee and Georgia. 
It was joined in Tennessee by the Warrior's Path 
from Ohio, sometimes called the Scioto Trail, which 
started at Sandusky on Lake Erie, followed up 
the Sandusky River, and down the Scioto to its 
mouth. Across the Ohio it led south through Ken- 
tucky and Cumberland Gap to its junction with 
the Virginia trail in eastern Tennessee. This was 
the great war-path from the north, the line of the 
principal invasions from both north and south, and 
was used by the whites as well as by the Indians. 
A branch of the Scioto Trail also followed up the 
Kanawha and across the mountains to the head- 
waters of the James. 


Another well-known route from north to south 
was the Miami Trail. North of the Ohio it had 
several branches in the Little and Great Miami 
valleys, but they all converged on the Ohio River 
near the mouth of the Licking. After crossing the 
Ohio the trail ran south to the water-shed between 
the Green and the Cumberland rivers, where it 
forked, one branch continuing straight on to the 
Cherokee country, while the other joined the Scioto 
Trail on its way through Cumberland Gap. 

An important effect of the topography of America 
on its history is seen in the development of the im- 
portant roads which were later constructed along the 
line of the old Indian routes. Of these Braddock's 
Road followed Nemacolin's Path; and the Cumber- 
land Road, built early in the nineteenth century, 
took the same line over the divide. The road to 
Pittsburg, finished by General Forbes in 1758, 1 fol- 
lowed the old trading trail through Carlisle, Shippens- 
burg, and Bedford, and soon became the main thor- 
oughfare to its objective point, though Braddock's 
Road was much used by those coming from Virginia. 

Another important route was discovered when 
progress westward from Virginia was stopped by 
the Alleghany range and the Cumberland escarp- 
ment; and the early pioneers turned south along 
the great valley into western Virginia and eastern 
Tennessee, following the old war-path to the Cherokee 
district. Having thus rounded the mountains, the 

1 Hulbert, Old Glade Road. 
vol. 11. — 3 


route followed the Ohio trail through Cumberland 
Gap. This way was first opened by Daniel Boone, 
and was variously known as " Boone's Trail," the 
"Kentucky Road," and the "Wilderness Road." 1 
Beginning at the settlements on the upper Hols ton, 
it passed westward by openings in the valley ranges 
across Cumberland Gap to the Cumberland River, 
where it left the old Indian trail and followed a 
buffalo trace through Boone's Gap to Fort Boones- 
borough on the Kentucky River, and thence on to 
Lexington. This road, which until 1796 was only 
a pack -trail, opened up central Kentucky and 
Tennessee to the Virginia and Carolina settlers ; and 
even those from Pennsylvania sometimes preferred 
this route. As the northern roads to the Ohio 
improved, however, they attracted most of the 
travellers, who, after striking the Ohio, descended 
that river by boat, and followed up its branches to 
their various destinations. 

Access had thus been gained to the very heart 
of the Mississippi Valley, and after the Revolution 
immigration poured down the river and up its trib- 
utaries in a never-ending stream. Then the water- 
ways became of less importance, since the generally 
level character of the country permitted the easy 
construction of wagon -roads. The influence of the 
streams was still potent, nevertheless, and the ad- 
vancing wave of population presented a ragged front 
due to the more rapid progress along their courses. 

1 Speed, Wilderness Road; Hulbert, Boone's Wilderness Road. 


As the arid regions of the great plains were gained, 
the advance was checked and the country to the 
rear was quickly filled. 

The streams flowing eastward from the Rockies, 
with the exception of the Missouri, were only nav- 
igable during a portion of the year, and as a con- 
sequence were unsuitable as lines of travel. The 
Missouri as the one copious river was the natural 
highway, therefore, and was ascended by Lewis and 
Clark in 1804 in their memorable journey to the 
Pacific. 1 Proceeding to the headwaters by boat, 
they crossed the Bitter Root Mountains by the 
northern Nez Perc6 or Lou Lou Trail, one of the most 
difficult in the country and one which has seldom 
been followed since. Descending on the west to 
the Clearwater, they continued by boat down the 
Snake and Columbia to the sea. Even before Lewis 
and Clark's expedition, hunters and trappers had 
penetrated to the Rocky Mountains, but the great 
distances to be travelled and the forbidding charac- 
ter of the country checked for a considerable time 
the westward movement of settlers. 

At the opening of the last century St. Louis was 
the starting - point and base of supplies for the 
Western traders. Later the centre moved west to 
Franklin, on the Missouri, then to Independence, and 
finally to Kansas City, where the river turned north. 2 

1 Coues, Hist, of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. 

2 Gregg, Commerce of the Prairies, I., 32; Inman, Old Santa 
Fe Trail, 145. 


To this point the western trails converged, with the 
exception of one or two which passed along the 
more southern tributaries of the Mississippi. 

As the Spaniards or Mexicans already had settle- 
ments in New Mexico and California, endeavors 
were soon made to establish trade with those points, 
and the Santa Fe Trail was the first important road 
of the West. 1 This road, about eight hundred miles 
long, passed westward from Independence to the Ar- 
kansas, up that stream to Bent's Fort, thence south- 
west up Timpas Creek and across the Raton Pass to 
Las Vegas and San Miguel. From this point it pushed 
westward through Apache Canon to the Santa Fe 
Valley. This trail was not favorable for wagons, 
and as their use increased, a more southerly route 
was adopted, which left the Arkansas, passed south- 
west to the Cimarron, and up that stream, meeting 
the old trail at Las Vegas. 

From New Mexico two routes were discovered to 
the Pacific coast. One ran from the Rio Grande 
over the divide to the headwaters of the Gila 
River and down to the Colorado and southern 
California. As the route along the upper Gila was 
difficult for wagons, a way was found around the 
mountains farther south, near the present line of the 
Southern Pacific Railroad. 2 The other trail led 
from Santa Fe northwest up the Chama River and 

1 Chittenden, American Fur Trade of the Far West; Inman, 
Old Santa Fe Trail. 

2 Emory, in Ex. Docs., 30 Cong., 1 Sess., No. 41. 


down the Dolores Valley, crossing the Grand River 
near the present site of Moab, Utah. It then led over 
to the Sevier, southwest up that stream, and down 
the Virgin. Instead of continuing to the Colorado, 
the trail turned west towards California, crossing 
the Mojave Desert and Cajon Pass, and terminated 
at San Bernardino and Los Angeles. This route 
was known as the Spanish Trail and was much 
used for many years. 1 Fremont, on his return from 
California in 1844, followed this trail as far as Utah. 

To the north the early settlers reached the Pacific 
slope over what came to be widely known as the 
Oregon Trail. This was about two thousand miles 
in length. It followed the Platte, its north fork, and 
the Sweetwater to South Pass; thence across the 
Green River, up Black River and Muddy Creek, 
and over the divide into Bear River Valley, which 
it left to cross to Fort Hall, on the Snake. Following 
the Snake River to a point below Salmon Falls, the 
trail cut across the plains to Fort Boise, and thence 
down the Snake again to Burnt River. Ascending 
Burnt River Canon it crossed to the upper Powder, 
thence over the divide of the Blue Mountains, and 
down the Umatilla to the Columbia. Movement 
along the Oregon Trail began about 1832, and by 
1845 there were eight thousand Americans in the 
valley of the Columbia. 2 

A southward movement had begun almost im- 

1 Bancroft, Hist, of California, III., 386. 

2 Monette, Hist, of the Mississippi Valley, II., 569. 


mediately from the Columbia River into the Sacra- 
mento Valley of California, and a demand arose for 
a more direct route to that country. After several 
unsuccessful and somewhat disastrous attempts 1 to 
find a suitable pass over the Sierras, Truckee Pass 
was discovered in 1844, 2 and the California Trail 
became definitely established. This route left the 
Oregon Trail at Bear River, crossed northern 
Nevada by way of the Humboldt River to Truckee 
River, ascended that stream, crossed the Truckee 
Pass, and descended the Bear River to the Sacra- 
mento. This was the route followed in after years 
by the Central Pacific Railroad. 

Such are the main lines by which native migration 
and the later exploration and settlement by the 
whites have proceeded. Their significance for the 
history and development of the country is obvious. 
Other factors have naturally had their influence; 
but in determining the direction of the flow as well 
as the location of the chief centres of population 
geographical conditions have been paramount. With 
the advance of civilization and the acquisition of 
new modes of transportation, geographical exigen- 
cies become less rigorous, but they still remain the 
leading factor in determining the location and 
growth of centres of population. 

Bancroft, Hist, of California, IV., 269-271, 394, 438. 
2 Ibid., 446. 




NEXT to purely geographical considerations the 
character and distribution of the vegetable 
products have probably played the most important 
part in determining the direction and permanence 
of the settlement of the different parts of North 
America. From one point of view the distribution 
of plant life is simply the working out of variation 
in soil and climate ; but to the native as well as to 
the immigrant the product of the soil and not the 
cause of that product demands first attention. 
Hence the presence or absence of forests and the 
character of the available vegetable food supply 
have not only modified the cultures of the Indian 
groups, but have regulated and determined the 
flow of civilized population. 

The forest belt of the continent extends far to 
the north, including nearly the whole of Labrador, 
everything south of a line drawn from the middle of 
the western shore of Hudson Bay to the mouth of 
the Mackenzie River, and all of Alaska except the 



extreme northwest. In the northern belt the trees 
are the same or similar across the continent, and 
but few species appear, the most typical being the 
poplars and the black and white spruces, which near 
their northern limit are stunted and of no economic 
importance, but farther south yield valuable timber. 

On the east the forest originally formed an un- 
broken sheet along the entire Atlantic coast as far 
south as central Florida, and along the Gulf shore 
into Texas, the general western boundary of the 
forest reaching or even crossing the Mississippi. 
The Pacific belt ceases to connect with the Atlantic 
at about the sixtieth parallel, near the eastern slopes 
of the Rocky Mountains; there the prairies inter- 
fere and form along the western edge of the Atlantic 
forest a broad area which is but slightly wooded. 

A short distance south of the forty-ninth parallel 
the wooded region of the Pacific forks, the coast 
division being densely covered with very valuable 
timber, while the Rocky Mountains in many parts 
are also well supplied with trees. Between these two 
Pacific groups, and even more in the wide extent 
of country between the Rocky Mountains and the 
western edge of the prairies, trees are practically 
wanting. The main factor in determining this 
distribution is the rainfall; in dry regions trees are 
few or absent, although in limited regions they may 
be raised by water conducted from a river or other 
source of supply through artificial channels and dis- 
tributed over the land as required. 

iqoo] PRODUCTS 41 

The trees on the two sides of the continent are 
sharply differentiated. While in the northeast the 
conifers, or soft woods, form the prevailing element, 
there is, nevertheless, a considerable mixture of 
hardwoods with deciduous, broad leaves ; and farther 
south the latter constitute almost the entire forest, 
except along the coastal plain. On the Pacific the 
reverse is true, the conifers reaching a size and 
luxuriance unequalled elsewhere, while the hard- 
woods are comparatively few. 

The most important species in the east has been 
the white pine, formerly very abundant in eastern 
Canada and south as far as Massachusetts, but ex- 
tending in less quantity south of that limit. For 
many years the main supply has been drawn from 
its western range in northern Michigan, Wisconsin, 
and Minnesota. So freely has it been cut that 
even in that region it is becoming extinct for 
practical purposes. The original quantity is es- 
timated to have been seven hundred billion feet, 1 
and the average cut at present is about two billion 
feet annually. 

In the northeast are many other species of coni- 
fers, such as various kinds of pine, the white cedar, 
hemlock, fir, larch, and the spruces already mention- 
ed. The most important hardwoods are the sugar 
and red maples, the beech, various birches (es- 
pecially the canoe birch), the white elm, and the 

1 The White Pine (U. S. Dept. Agric, Div. of Forestry, 
Bulletin 22), p. 19. 


white ash. In the central states the conifers lose 
their importance and hardwoods take the chief 
place. The most notable trees of this class are the 
oaks (represented by about twenty-five species), 
several kinds of hickory, the chestnut, the black 
walnut (once very valuable, but now exhausted), 
the basswood, the magnolias, the tupelo, the tulip- 
tree, and the cotton-wood. Although a conifer, 
the hemlock is at its best in the mountains of 
North Carolina. 

Besides the lumber actually used, an enormous 
quantity has inevitably been destroyed in clearing 
the land, and forest fires have also wrought great 
damage. As a result, lumbering has ceased to be 
an important industry over most of this region, 
though much is still done in places, the chief hard- 
wood centres being at present Tennessee and 

On the coasts of the southern states, not only 
on the Atlantic but along the Gulf of Mexico as 
far as Texas, and extending up the Mississippi into 
Missouri, are several valuable pines, especially the 
long-leaf, the short-leaf, and the loblolly. From the 
first of these and a fourth species, the slash pine, 
the turpentine of commerce is derived. 

Southern Florida differs much from the rest of 
the country, its plants having many features in 
common with those of the West Indies. A con- 
siderable number of the Antillean trees extend to 
the continent, but are not as a rule well developed, 

i 9 oo] PRODUCTS 43 

except the mahogany and the royal palm; while 
the sea-shores have a tropical border of mangroves. 

The western trees are nearly all soft woods and 
often attain gigantic dimensions. The variety is 
not great, but with some notable exceptions each 
kind has a wide distribution. To the north spruces, 
poplars, and the canoe birch prevail as on the 
opposite side of the continent ; but in the important 
forest region from southern British Columbia into 
California grow trees peculiar to the district. The 
most important of these, the red or Douglas fir, 
reaches its best development around Puget Sound 
and for some distance north and south of that 
region. It grows from two to three hundred feet 
in height, and is associated with other fine trees, 
notably the tide-land spruce, the hemlock, and the 
red cedar. To the east of the Cascade range, 
though still present, these species become less 
important than the yellow pine. In southern 
Oregon the Port Orford cedar becomes common, 
and is followed at the Californian border by the 
redwood. This last covers a rather narrow belt 
along the coast, but has a very dense growth, and 
often attains a height of two hundred and fifty or 
three hundred feet. 

The western slopes of the Sierra Nevada also 
bear a very heavy forest growth, widest in northern 
California, and characterized by the sugar pine, the 
red fir, yellow pine, two true firs, and the white 
cedar. Most famous of all is the Big Tree (Sequoia 


gigantea) , which, though neither the tallest nor the 
broadest, is conceded the distinction of being the 
largest in the world, rising to a height of from two 
hundred and seventy-five feet to nearly four hun- 
dred feet, with a diameter of twenty to thirty-five 
feet, and attaining a great age. All these are 
conifers. Hardwoods are, however, not entirely 
lacking, the most valuable in the coast region being 
the cotton- wood and the large-leaved maple. 

In the interior the forest is less continuous. The 
Columbia basin contains a fair supply of timber, 
especially the western larch, and the eastern slopes 
of the Sierra Nevada bear valuable pines. In the 
Rocky Mountains of Colorado, at elevations of from 
eight to ten thousand feet, a spruce (Picea Engel- 
manni) grows luxuriantly, and yellow pine, red 
fir, and white fir are plentiful at lower altitudes. A 
similar vegetation follows the high mountains as 
far as western Texas, where the pines again become 

Along the northern boundary of Mexico a fusion 
takes place between the floras of the adjacent 
portions of the Atlantic and Pacific belts. The 
trees are comparatively small, the mesquite ex- 
tending over a very wide area, while east of the 
Colorado the giant cactus is one of the most striking 
of the plants. 

This vast extent of forest has had a vital bearing 
upon the settlement and further development of the 
country. To the pioneer it was at once a blessing 

i poo] PRODUCTS 45 

and a curse, supplying abundance of building 
material and fuel at his very door, while, on the 
other hand, before the land could be cultivated, 
arduous labor was entailed in the removal of the 
trees and the tearing of their roots from the ground. 
During the Indian wars, too, they formed an effectual 
screen for the advancing enemy. 

From the forest various products useful as food 
were obtained, though these have naturally had a 
diminishing importance. Many kinds of shell fruits, 
such as chestnuts, beech, hazel, hickory, pecan, 
walnuts and butternuts, were used in this way, 
besides wild cherries and plums. The sap of the 
maple also yielded excellent sugar to the aborigines 
as well as to the pioneers. Most of the trees im- 
portant for food purposes are of foreign origin, the 
great diversity of soil and climate making it possible 
to grow plants of nearly all countries not strictly 
tropical. Skilful cultivation and care in the selec- 
tion of suitable varieties have led to the extension 
of many species of fruits over a wide area, so that 
fruit of the same kind is placed upon the market 
over a long period of time, the first coming from 
the most southern range and then from points 
successively farther north. 

The fruit of most general and varied use is the 
apple, a native of Europe and Asia, but introduced 
into America by the early settlers. It has a great 
number of cultivated varieties, of which several are 
of importance in this country. It grows well in 


Canada, in many of the northern states, and in 
California, in which state the fruit industry reaches 
its greatest development, extremely large quantities 
being annually shipped to the east, both in a fresh 
condition and preserved. Also of high economic 
importance are the pear, the cherries, and plums, 
with a northern preference, the peach, almond, 
quince, prune, olive, fig, and apricot, which require 
a warmer climate. The orange and the lemon are 
very largely grown in southern California and to a 
less extent in Florida, where also some West Indian 
products, such as the pineapple, are coming into 

From the economic stand-point the cereals are 
of supreme interest, as they furnish a very high 
percentage of the world's food supply. These in- 
clude wheat, maize, or Indian-corn, rice, oats, rye, 
barley, and buckwheat, which have a variable com- 
parative importance in different countries. 

In the United States corn is the greatest of all 
crops, the yield for 1902 l the greatest yet recorded, 
being over two billion five hundred million bushels, 
grown on the vast area of ninety - four million 
acres. 2 The plant is in all probability a native of 
Central America, and was generally in use among 
the Indians on the arrival of the whites, who found 
it in cultivation, and saw it employed for a vari- 

1 The year 1902 has, for purposes of convenience, been 
chosen for such comparisons as are made in the following pages. 

2 U. S. Dept. Agric, Year-Book, 1902, pp. 760 ff. 

i poo] PRODUCTS 47 

ety of purposes, from Peru to the St. Lawrence. 
While it is grown to some extent all over the United 
States, it prefers a warm climate with moderate 
elevation. In 1902 Illinois produced over three 
hundred and seventy-two million bushels, Iowa, 
with nearly three hundred million, coming next. 
Missouri and Nebraska also produced over two 
hundred and fifty million, but Kansas alone of all 
the other states exceeds two hundred million. 
Only two others, Indiana and Ohio, produced one 
hundred million, and of the remainder, Kentucky 
is the only one which approaches that figure. In 
contrast, the New England states together produced 
only something over five million bushels. 

These figures are only partially due to average 
yield per acre, the New England states standing 
uniformly high in this regard, though proportions 
vary widely from year to year. Illinois supplied 
the greatest acreage of corn cultivation — viz., over 
nine million six hundred thousand. Iowa devoted 
nine million three hundred thousand; Nebraska, 
seven million eight hundred thousand acres to corn 
alone ; Kansas, seven million four hundred and fifty 
thousand; Missouri, six million seven hundred and 
seventy-five thousand; and Texas, five million five 
hundred thousand acres. Extreme contrast is sup- 
plied by Wyoming with two thousand four hundred 
acres; Montana, three thousand seven hundred; 
Idaho, five thousand; and Arizona seven thousand 
five hundred. Over three-fourths of the amount 


shipped outside the county where it is grown came 
from the five states of Illinois, Nebraska, Kansas, 
Missouri, and Indiana. 

Wheat is in some respects of still greater im- 
portance, but in the United States has only about 
one-half the acreage of corn. Introduced by the 
earliest immigrants, it was at first cultivated 
throughout the East, and was carried forward with 
the advance of colonization. It is distinctly a 
northern crop, nowhere flourishing south of the 
glaciated belt, its centre of distribution lying in the 
West. In 1902 the total crop in the United States 
was over six hundred and seventy million bushels, 
and in North America seven hundred and eighty 
million, a decrease of sixty-six million from the 
figures for 1901. 1 Of this Minnesota supplied the 
largest share, over ten per cent, of the whole ; North 
Dakota nearly sixty-three million, Missouri over 
fifty-six million, Manitoba nearly fifty-five million, 
and Nebraska fifty-three million bushels. Kansas 
and South Dakota yielded each between forty 
and fifty million, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois be- 
tween thirty and forty million bushels. The best 
yield per acre, twenty-nine and one- tenth bushels, 
was in Washington, with something over a million 
acres in cultivation, and other high averages are 
made by states with a comparatively small total out- 
put. In the year chosen for comparison the con- 
tinent produced almost exactly one-quarter of the 

U. S. Dept. Agric, Year-Book, 1902, p. 268. 

igo4] PRODUCTS 49 

total supply of the world, and in the preceding year 
a yet higher percentage, whereas it furnished almost 
sixty per cent, of the world's export. 

Oats also are of high importance, the crop for 
1902 reaching nearly one billion bushels, grown 
on twenty-eight million acres, and valued at over 
$300,000,000. Illinois and Iowa, the former with 
one hundred and fifty-three million bushels, the 
latter with one hundred and twenty-five million 
bushels, produced in each case by about four 
million acres, are far in the lead in both product and 
acreage. It also is notably a northern crop, a fact 
attested by the Ontario yield of one hundred and 
ten million bushels. 

Barley is less important both actually and rel- 
atively, the crop in 1902 being one hundred and 
thirty-five million bushels. The centres of distribu- 
tion are more widely scattered, California with nearly 
thirty million bushels, Minnesota with twenty-six 
million, Wisconsin and North Dakota with sixteen 
million each, and Iowa with thirteen million bushels, 
being responsible for the great bulk of barley pro- 

Rye is of still less consequence, particularly in com- 
parison with Europe, where in many parts it is the 
principal cereal. The 1902 output was thirty-three 
million bushels, most of which came from Wisconsin, 
Nebraska, Michigan, and Minnesota. Buckwheat, 
while not strictly a cereal, may be mentioned here, 
with an output of fourteen million five hundred 


thousand bushels, of which over two-thirds is raised 
in New York and Pennsylvania. 

Rice is typically a plant of warm countries and 
requires a very wet soil for its growth. Before the 
coming of the whites the Indians obtained a con- 
siderable proportion of their food from the wild rice 
which grew not only in such states as Virginia, but 
in the Northeast and as far west as Minnesota. 
The cultivated species is probably a native of 
Hindustan, and in this country it has been grown 
only in the southern states. At first the bulk of the 
yield was produced by the Carolinas and by Georgia, 
Louisiana beginning to be important about forty 
years ago. The former states now grow a much 
smaller quantity, while the last-named, with Texas, 
form the centre of the industry. Even now the 
yield, about one hundred and fifty million pounds 
annually, is only half of the quantity consumed in 
the country. 

The sugar-cane is a tropical plant, which in the 
United States is produced almost entirely in the 
extreme South, Louisiana furnishing nearly the 
entire output for the country. This is but a fraction 
of the amount consumed, the balance being im- 
ported from the Hawaiian Islands, West and East 
Indies, and South America. 

Two other plants, exclusive of the maple, also 
contribute to the sugar supply. One is the beet, 
very extensively grown for this purpose in Europe. 
It was first employed in this country for sugar- 

1904] PRODUCTS 51 

making in 1830, but was of little consequence for 
a long time, the annual output of beet-sugar not 
reaching one thousand tons until 1888. It rose to 
forty thousand tons within ten years. It requires a 
very different climate from the cane, its ideal area 
being a belt about two hundred miles wide stretching 
from New York to the Dakotas, then passing to the 
Mexican border, and north and west to include the 
whole of California and about half of Oregon and 
Washington. 1 While insignificant as yet beside the 
European supply, the increase is very rapid, the 
sugar produced in 1902 2 being six times the quantity 
only four years before. 

Of hay, sixty million tons was the total for 1902. 
New York raises over one-tenth of the whole from 
five million acres, and Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, 
Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Kansas, and Michigan fol- 
low in the order named. Besides this a vast quan- 
tity of grass is of course consumed as pasturage, 
alike in the east and on the great ranches in the 
west and southwest. 

The greatest of all crops in the south is cotton. 
There is much doubt as to whfether some variety 
of it was not known to the natives of Peru and 
Mexico before the coming of Europeans, but its 
culture in the United States almost certainly dates 
from the year of the settlement of Jamestown. It 

1 Wiley, The Sugar Beet (U. S. Dept. Agric, Farmers' 1 Bulletin^ 
1899, 52). 
% U. S. Dept. Agric, Year-Book, 1902, p. 825. 


spread rapidly through the south, the centre of pro- 
duction keeping steadily ahead of that of population. 
Still, in 1790, the total production was less than 
nine thousand bales. 1 It reached two hundred and 
ten thousand bales in the early part of the last 
century. Subject to annual variations, this had 
risen by the beginning of the civil war to nearly 
five million bales. During the years of conflict 
the quantity fell almost to zero, and the industry 
did not immediately recover, though the product 
is now twice as large as at any time before the war. 
The United States produces about three-fourths of 
the world's supply and exports about two-thirds 
of its crop. At times the proportion of export has 
been much higher, but the growth of the manu- 
facturing industry has more than kept pace with the 
increase in the crop, great though that has been. 
Texas furnishes the largest amount for any one 
state, about one-fourth of the whole. The total yield 
of 1902 was valued at $511,000,000 for the cotton 
alone. The cotton -seed industry has so far ad- 
vanced that in 1902 one hundred and nineteen 
million gallons of oil were produced, and of oil cake 
over a million tons. 2 

The other characteristic southern crop is tobacco, 
indigenous and found in general use by the early 
discoverers. Kentucky produced in 1902 about 

1 U. S. Dept. Agric, Official Exper. Stations, The Cotton-Plant 
Bulletin (1896) ,33. 

2 U. S. Dept. Agric, Year-Book, 1902, p. 816. 

1904] PRODUCTS 53 

two hundred and fifty-eight million pounds, North 
Carolina one hundred and forty-two million, and 
Virginia one hundred and thirty-six million pounds. 
Wisconsin, Ohio, and Tennessee come next in order 
of importance, while South Carolina, Pennsylvania, 
Connecticut, and Maryland all yield crops of value. 1 

Vegetables and small fruits are of course grown 
in enormous variety wherever agriculture is prac- 
tised. Of these, potatoes are the most important, 
and amount to over two hundred and eighty million 
bushels annually. Of the states Wisconsin, New 
York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, 
Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, and Maine, 
all reach the ten-million-bushel mark in potato pro- 

Two impressions are left by this study of American 
products : one is the immense variety of plant growth 
due to the wide variations in climate and character 
of the continent; and the other is that the majority 
of the plants of great economic value are of foreign 
origin. In any case the fertility and adaptability 
of the soil must be regarded as among the chief 
contributing causes to the stupendous growth of the 
American nation. 

1 U. S. Dept. Agric, Year-Book, 1902, p. 819. 



ANY general discussion of the continent in its 
i relation to history must include a description 
of its fauna so far as it has affected the settlement 
of the country. From the stand-point of human 
interest the vertebrates are immeasurably more 
significant than any other forms of animal life; 
but it will be necessary to select those vertebrates 
which are indigenous, neglecting such as have been 
introduced by Europeans, such as the domesti- 
cated animals and the domestic animals run wild, 
as broncos, mustangs, and cattle of the western 
plains. The insects might also be considered of 
importance to man because of their destructive 
relations to agriculture and forestry. 

Almost any given animal inhabits a more or less 
restricted geographic area, known as its "range," 
the limits of which are determined by climatic 
conditions (temperature and moisture) or by the 
interrelation of land areas, since intervening bodies 
of water serve as barriers to the dispersal of the 
species. Of these two factors temperature is vastly 


1500] ANIMAL LIFE 55 

more potent than moisture, and naturalists have 
been able to demonstrate a remarkably close corre- 
lation of life zones to isothermal lines. 1 

It is important to recall the close geographic 
proximity of Alaska to the northeastern part of the 
great continents of Europe and Asia, called by 
geographers Eurasia. Indeed, the two continents 
were probably united in the Tertiary period, as 
appears from the general continuity of the circum- 
polar frozen region, and the similarity in physical 
features and climate of the northern halves of both 
land masses. To facilitate the comparative study 
of animal life, naturalists have divided the earth's 
surface into so-called zoogeographic areas. Of the 
various schemes proposed the most logical and most 
convenient for our purposes recognizes the close 
similarity of the Eurasian and North American 
faunas. 2 It includes in an arctic realm the entire 
land area north of the annual isotherm of 32 F. ; 
the area between the isotherms of 32 F. and 70 F. 
in the north temperate realm. The portions of 
these realms falling within North America are 
designated respectively as the North American 
arctic region and the North American temperate 
region. The latter comprises almost the entire 

1 Merriam, "The Geographic Distribution of Life in North 
America" (Biological Society, Proceedings, VII.); "Laws of 
Temperature Control of the Geographic Distribution of Terres- 
trial Animals and Plants" (National Geog. Soc, Magazine, VI.) 

2 Allen, Geographical Distribution of North American Animals, 

i 9 oo] ANIMAL LIFE 57 

continent, and is subdivided into cold temperate 
and warm temperate sub - regions, the line of 
division being the isotherm of 43 F., or, roughly- 
speaking, the boundary-line between Canada and 
the United States. South of the North American 
temperate region is the American tropical realm, 
including Central America, the West Indies, and a 
part of Mexico, Florida, and Lower California. 

Proceeding to a survey of the fauna of North 
America, and taking first the American arctic re- 
gion, the area beyond the tree limit, we find that 
it has no specific fauna. Its animal inhabitants are 
all circumpolar in distribution, and occur also in 
arctic Eurasia. The most notable arctic animals 
are the polar bear, arctic fox, arctic hare, the musk- 
ox (now extinct in the Old World) , the white lem- 
ming, barren-ground caribou, the walrus, and, among 
birds, the willow ptarmigan. The seals are abun- 
dant, but certain species found in the eastern 
(Barren Ground) and western (Alaskan) groups are 
not identical. 

Passing to the north temperate realm we find 
a sharp distinction from the fauna of the arctic 
region. 1 The total number of genera of land 
mammals in the two regions is one hundred and 
forty, of which ninety - seven occur in Eurasia 
and seventy - five in North America. Of these, 
thirty -two are circumpolar, or common to both 

1 Allen, Geographical Distribution of North American Animals, 


regions ; and out of the seventy - five in America 
only twenty - seven, a trifle over one - third, are 
peculiarly American. The most interesting re- 
sult, however, appears in the comparison of the 
corresponding sub-regions of the two continents. 
Of forty-three genera in the North American cold 
temperate sub -region, six are common to both cold 
and warm, and seventeen are limited to the warm 
sub-region. 1 The general result, then, of the faunal 
comparison of the two continents is that the arctic 
faunas exhibit no difference, the north temperate 
sub-regions very little, and that specific differentia- 
tion increases rapidly as we pass southward. It 
may be well to recall that the comparison deals with 
genera; the great majority of species in both con- 
tinents are of course peculiar. 

The North American tropical region has sixty- 
two genera of mammals, and the fauna is widely 
divergent from that of the tropical regions of the 
Old World. The most characteristic mammals are 
the ant-eater, armadillo, sloth, tapir, peccary, jaguar, 
marmoset, and spider-monkey. 

Proceeding to a consideration of the animals them- 
selves in their relations to man, we shall notice such 
animals as are of economic importance, as sources 
of food, clothing, or other necessities ; and the group 
which pre-eminently serves these functions is the 
ruminants. Of these the family which, all things 

1 It is an interesting fact that the majority of these peculiarly 
American genera are rodents. 

i 9 oo] ANIMAL LIFE 59 

considered, has been of most service to man is the 
deer, of which the most significant is the Virginia 
or white-tailed deer, which in some of its eight or 
more sub-species and varieties inhabits nearly all 
of the warm temperate sub-region. It was the first 
deer discovered by the early settlers; and to them 
as well as to the Indians it was a staple source of 
food and clothing. It is the most adaptable and 
the most abundant American deer, and will un- 
doubtedly survive all other members of its family. 
Essentially a lover of the forest, it avoids the arid 
plains and high mountains of the northwest. A 
near relative of the white-tail is the mule-deer, some- 
times called the black -tailed deer, which inhabits 
the Bad Lands, and the foot-hills of the Rocky 
Mountains. This species bids fair to be extermi- 
nated in a few years owing to indiscriminate slaugh- 
ter at all seasons. 1 

Of all the larger game animals, excepting only 
the bison, the American elk or wapiti (Cervus 
canadensis) has come the nearest to extermination. 
Originally the species ranged through the Adirondack 
and Alleghany mountains northward into Canada, 
from the Great Lakes to Vancouver, and through 
the Rocky Mountain region from Canada to Mexico. 
In the eighteenth century elk were still plentiful 
in the Alleghanies, and one was killed in central 

1 The name black-tailed deer should be restricted to the 
Columbia black-tail of the Pacific coast, a variety of which, 
the Sitka deer, extends northward into Alaska. 


Pennsylvania as late as 1869. Now virtually ex- 
tinct east of the Mississippi, the range of the elk 
is practically limited to the eastern slope of the 
Rockies, especially in western Colorado, Wyoming, 
and Montana, with a few representing local varieties 
in the Olympic Mountains of Washington and in 
Arizona and New Mexico. The present focus of 
the elk range is the Yellowstone Park, which forms 
a breeding-ground and summer nursery for a herd 
of twenty thousand head. 

The moose (Alces americanus) , the largest and 
most powerful of the deer family, has suffered much 
less than has the elk from the inroads of civilization. 
Its present range is from the Atlantic to the Pacific, 
through the wooded north temperate sub-region, 
especially in New Brunswick, Manitoba, Alberta, 
British Columbia, and Alaska, 1 and extending into 
the United States in Maine, northern Minnesota, 
and in the Rockies as far south as northern Wyo- 
ming. In the Adirondacks it was exterminated 
about i860. While the number of moose has un- 
doubtedly been sadly lessened by hunters, opinion 
differs as to the danger of its extinction. Though 
yielding the southern limit of their range, there is 
reason to believe that they are encroaching, perhaps 
to an equal extent, upon new forest lands to the 
northward. In certain parts of British Columbia 
and Alaska the dying out of the Indian tribes has 

1 The Alaska moose is generally regarded as a distinct species, 
Alces gigas. 

igoo] ANIMAL LIFE 61 

allowed the moose to become much more numer- 

The caribou (rangifer), of which there are some 
seven fairly distinct varieties, falls within two main 
groups: the woodland caribou, which inhabits the 
wooded portion of British America extending into 
Maine and Montana ; and the barren-ground caribou, 
which traverses the vast treeless tundras of arctic 
America and Greenland. The caribou is migratory 
and travels in immense herds, and being easy to 
kill it is slaughtered in great numbers by Eskimos 
and Indians. In some parts of Alaska it has been 
almost exterminated by natives, who have butchered 
them to sell the flesh to the whalers wintering on 
the coast. The final extinction of the caribou, 
however, is fortunately far distant. 

Of all our ruminants, the one distinctive Ameri- 
can, the one form w T hich has no Old-World double, 
is the prong-horn antelope, which, zoologically, is 
intermediate between the deer and the bovidae, or 
cattle. Formerly very abundant between the Mis- 
souri River and the Pacific coast, it now exists only 
on the great plains and the high plateaus, where its 
numbers are decreasing. 

Of less actual value to civilized man than the 
above-mentioned species, but formerly very im- 
portant to the Indians, are the mountain-sheep, or 
big-horn, and the Rocky Mountain goat. The former, 
once very abundant, is now limited to small bands, 
and is doomed to early extinction. The Rocky 


Mountain goat, which is comparatively valueless for 
flesh or skin, ranges the higher Rocky and Cascade 
mountains from Montana to Alaska. 

The musk-ox is a truly arctic form, originally 
circumpolar in distribution, but now restricted to 
the Western Hemisphere, where it ranges the frozen 
wastes of the barren grounds. A closely allied 
species has recently been discovered in Greenland. 
The long, woolly coat is highly valued by the Eski- 
mos, and the flesh is said to be excellent. Quite re- 
cently the musk-ox has been extensively hunted by 

Beyond all doubt the most noteworthy of all 
North American animals is the bison, or " buffalo, " 
by reason of its majestic size, former countless 
numbers, its practical value, and its lamentable 
extermination. Originally the bison ranged from 
the Alleghanies to the Rockies and even farther 
west into Oregon and Nevada, and from Great 
Slave Lake southward nearly to central Mexico. 
By 1800 the species was practically exterminated 
east of the Mississippi, and by the middle of the 
century the buffalo were restricted to the great 
plains, where they continued to roam by millions, 
until 1869, when the completion of the Union Pa- 
cific Railway divided them into a " northern herd" 
and a "southern herd," and initiated the beginning 
of the end of the race. Previous to this time the 
killing had been desultory, but in 1871 began the 
systematic slaughter of the southern herd, which at 


Dates o/To.caTe ■■xteiari:? patYcrn.^ to catio n 
and oumbe^&f^Jld' tods fa J9Q.3, 



that time numbered between three and four million, 
yet by 1876 was exterminated by the hide hunters. 
The opening of the Northern Pacific Railway in 
1880 marked the beginning of a similar war of 
extermination of the northern herd, which con- 
tained one million five hundred thousand head ; and 
by 1883 the end was accomplished and the sole sur- 
vivors were some two hundred head in Yellowstone 
Park, five hundred and fifty near Great Slave 
Lake, and a few scattered smaller bands. 1 The 
Yellowstone herd has been sadly decimated by 
poachers, and in March, 1893, numbered thirty -four 
head, while the Canadian wild herd near Great 
Slave Lake contained about six hundred. Formerly 
completely intergraded with the southern form, 
the Canadian herd is now regarded as sufficiently 
distinct to warrant its designation as a variety — the 
wood bison. The buffalo in the various parks and 
private game preserves number about one thousand, 
and these are slowly increasing. 

Regarding the former value of the buffalo to man, 
it is impossible to estimate closely the commercial 
value of the beef and hides during the period of 
active slaughter, but it has been placed at from 
$15,000,000 to $20,000,000. However, the real 
value of the buffalo was not to the white man, but 
to the Indian tribes of the great plains. Besides 
the flesh — fresh, dried, and made into pemmican — 
there were the hide, which yielded tipi, clothing, bed- 
1 Hornaday, The Extermination of the American Bison, 437. 

igoo] ANIMAL LIFE 65 

ding, and shield ; the sinews, which gave thread, rope, 
and bow-string ; and the bones and horns, which were 
fashioned into implements of various kinds. 

Turning now to the fur-bearing animals, we find 
that these belong chiefly to the carnivora and the 
rodents. Though many are distributed over the 
entire continent, the fur - bearers as a rule inhabit 
the northerly regions, and a large proportion are of 
more or less aquatic habits. The larger carnivora, 
including the bear, wolf, and cougar, or puma, are 
far less important commercially as fur - bearers. 
From the economic stand-point these animals are 
rather to be regarded as nuisances, owing to their 
depredations among deer and other game animals, 
and even among cattle and sheep. Of all these 
the wolf is the worst offender. 

We are likely to underestimate the importance of 
the fur-bearers as a factor in the progress of civiliza- 
tion, unless we consider that for two centuries and 
a half these animals have been chiefly responsible 
for the penetration of the forests by trappers and 
traders, in order to supply the demand of European 
markets. This exploitation of the furs was in the 
north due chiefly to the famous Hudson Bay Com- 
pany, established in 1670; but as early as 1763 a fur- 
trading post was established on the present site of 
St. Louis, and continued to be of great importance 
for the trade until the middle of the nineteenth 

Examination of the carefully kept statistics of 

VOL. II.— S 


the London fur market for the last century gives 
an idea of the vast importance of the trade. Ex- 
cepting the seals, the most valuable fur-bearers be- 
long to the Mustelidae or weasel family, represented 
by the weasel, mink, sable, badger, skunk, wolverine, 
otter, and sea-otter. The fur-bearing rodents in- 
clude the squirrel, hare, musk-rat, and beaver; but 
the beaver, which originally inhabited almost all the 
wooded valleys of North America, is now nearly 
extinct, except in some parts of the Rocky Mountain 
region. At the present day the musk-rat far out- 
ranks all other rodents in importance; the number 
of skins of that species marketed in 1900 exceeded 
five million. 1 

In recent years the most important branch of the 
fur industry has been the seal - fisheries of Alaskan 
waters, widely known through international com- 
plications arising out of efforts by the United States 
government to protect the seals in the high-seas. 
Ever since the discovery of the Pribyloff Islands in 
1786 the fur seal (Callorhinus) has been ruthlessly 
slaughtered, but it is of interest to note that since 
1799, when the Russian-American Company was 
formed, laws have existed for its protection. From 
1870 to 1890 the seal-fisheries, carefully guarded, 
gave a yearly yield of one hundred thousand skins. 
About 1886 the destructive practice of pelagic seal- 
ing (shooting the animals at sea during migration) 
began on a large scale, and has resulted in sadly 

1 U. S. Fish Commission, Report, 1904. 

1900] ANIMAL LIFE 67 

decreasing their numbers, so that the Pribyloff Isl- 
ands herd in 1903 numbered only about two hun- 
dred thousand seals, of which some sixty thousand 
were breeding females. 

The most valuable of all aquatic furs is that of 
the sea-otter of the north Pacific coast, but the 
annual catch has dwindled during the past twenty 
years from five thousand to five hundred skins. 1 

Quite recently the walrus of the arctic waters of 
both oceans has been hunted for its skin, the chief 
use of which is in the manufacture of metal pol- 
ishers and certain fancy articles ; but on account of 
its arctic range the walrus is safe from extermina- 

The manatee of the Florida rivers was threatened 
with extinction a few years ago owing to a "fad" 
for its skin, but this rare animal now enjoys rigorous 
legal protection. Among aquatic animals there is 
one reptile of considerable importance — namely, 
the alligator of the gulf states and of Mexico. In 
view of the fact that two hundred and eighty 
thousand skins are used annually, it is not sur- 
prising that the supply is becoming rapidly re- 

The relation of bird-life to mankind is too large 
a subject to be more than briefly mentioned in these 
pages; it touches, first, game birds, and, secondly, 
insect-eating birds. Nearly all the native birds are 
diminishing in numbers, statistics indicating that 
1 U. S. Fish Commission, Report, 1904. 


the decrease during the last fifteen years has been 
forty per cent., and this is due, perhaps, as much to 
destruction of forests as to hunters. A number of 
species are now virtually extinct, the most notable 
being the passenger-pigeon which fifty years ago 
was common in flocks numbering millions. The 
wild turkey and the prairie-chicken are probably 
doomed, and only by strict reinforcement of the 
game laws can the various grouse, quail, and other 
game birds long survive. One bird of real value to 
man is the willow-ptarmigan of the frozen north, 
which is an important source of food to the Indians 
and Eskimos. 

From an economic stand - point the most im- 
portant wild creatures are the fishes, and of these 
the salmon of the north Pacific coast is easily in the 
lead. In 1899 the catch of salmon on that coast 
was nearly two hundred and fifty million pounds, 
with a value of over $10,000,000. These fish, fresh 
and dried, have long been the chief food staple 
of the Indians of the northwest coast. Next in 
importance is the cod of the Atlantic coast, the 
yearly catch of which in the United States alone is 
worth $3,000,000. Other important fishes of the 
Atlantic are the mackerel, herring, and alewife. A 
new branch of American industry is represented in 
the "sardine" fisheries of the Maine coast, which, 
though dating only from 1875, have an annual yield 
valued at $2,000,000. The "sardines" are chiefly 
young herring and several species related to the 

1904] ANIMAL LIFE 69 

true sardine. The shad-fisheries of the Atlantic 
coast rivers are also among the most important. Of 
the fresh-water fishes the white-fish and lake herring, 
occurring chiefly in the Great Lakes, are the most 
important commercially. 


THE question as to how long man has lived upon 
the North American continent has been much 
discussed, and is still far from being satisfactorily 
answered. The attempts to prove by supposed 
finds of human remains and artifacts in suitable 
geological deposits that the continent was inhab- 
ited by man in pre-glacial or early glacial times, 
have thus far failed to produce conviction. Prob- 
ably the most important evidence for such antiquity 
is ascribed to certain auriferous gravel beds in 
California. In 1866 in a mining shaft in Calaveras 
County in that state a skull was reported to have 
been found embedded in a deposit of gravel which 
geologists agree is of Tertiary age. Since that time 
other finds of human implements of various sorts 
have been reported from the same or similar de- 
posits. If these objects were actually found where 
they were reported, the existence of Tertiary man 
in America may be regarded as established; and 
some well-known investigators have accepted this 

More recent critical examination of the evidence, 



however, has cast grave doubt on the authenticity 
of most of these so-called discoveries, and the general 
attitude to-day is one of decided scepticism. The 
chief objections to the evidence are as follows: 
the history of the finds is uncertain, it being even 
claimed that some of them were the results of 
practical jokes; in most cases the implements found 
are the same as those used by the Indians living 
in the vicinity, which are extremely common on the 
surface above the deposits; none of the objects 
show signs of having been subjected to the action of 
the violent torrents which formed the gravel beds ; 
finally, some of the implements seem to be made 
of rock of more recent formations than the gravels 
themselves. Without going into further detail, it 
is enough to say that the presence of man in America 
at such an early date is extremely doubtful. 1 

In different places and at various times a con- 
siderable number of objects have been unearthed 
which have been claimed to prove the presence of 
man in the late glacial or early post-glacial period. 
These articles have been largely of chipped stone, 
many of them belonging to the so-called "palaeo- 
lithic" class of implements. The most important of 
these finds were made in the valley of the Delaware 
River, in Ohio, and in Minnesota. The majority of 
them, under more critical examination, fail to be 

1 Holmes, " Preliminary Revision of the Evidence Relating to 
Auriferous Gravel Man in California " (American Anthropologist, 
N. S., I., 107-121, 614-645). 


as convincing as at first appeared. The possibilities 
of intrusion from the surface are numerous, and 
many of the implements under discussion are the 
same as surface forms ; while subsequent examination 
by skilled observers, in places where objects were 
claimed to have been found, have usually failed to 
bring other specimens to light. The result has been 
that most archaeologists regard the proof for glacial 
man in America as insufficient. 1 It must also be 
added that the date of other deposits in which it is 
generally agreed that human implements have been 
found, such as the gravel series of Trenton, New 
Jersey, has been placed by many investigators much 
later than was at first supposed. 2 Yet though 
glacial man is doubtful, and there is little positive 
foundation for a belief in such ancient occupation of 
America as that of palaeolithic man in Europe, the 
continent has certainly been inhabited for a very 
long period, probably for thousands of years. Such 
remains as some of those in Minnesota, 3 and a 
recently discovered skull in Kansas, 4 prove a very 
respectable antiquity. 

1 Mercer, Researches upon the Antiquity of Man in the Delaware 
Valley, 20-33; Holmes, "Traces of Glacial Man in Ohio" 
(Journal of Geology, I., 147-163.) 

2 General discussion of the Trenton gravels, Am. Assoc. Ad- 
vancement of Science, Proceedings (1897), 344-390. 

3 B rower, Memoirs of Exploration in the Basin of the Missis- 
sippi, V. 

4 Holmes, " Fossil Human Remains Found Near Lansing, 
Kansas" (American Anthropologist, N. S., IV., 743-752); 
Chamberlin, "The Geologic Relations of the Human Relics of 
Lansing, Kansas" (Journal of Geology, X., 745-779). 


The study of cave deposits, which has led to 
such important conclusions in Europe, has produced 
negative results in America — instead of indicating 
great antiquity, caves explored in several states, 
both east and west, as well as in Mexico and South 
America, tend to prove the contrary. Careful ex- 
amination of the hill -caves of Yucatan does not 
show the slightest trace of any ancient occupation, 
or of any other civilization than that found by the 
Spaniards upon their arrival in the country. 1 

Another set of problems relates to the so-called 
1 ' mound-builders ' ' and ' ' clifT-dwellers. ' ' At present 
it seems to be fairly well agreed that these were 
no mysterious peoples who disappeared before the 
coming of the red man, but were merely the an- 
cestors of the present American Indians. This does 
not necessarily imply that these structures were the 
work of the Indians inhabiting the particular regions 
when first discovered, though even that appears to 
have been the case in certain instances. 

To appreciate this inquiry, let us briefly review 
some of the more important of the remains and 
antiquities which have thus far been discovered. 

The archaeological remains found in North America 
generally are unequally distributed and vary in dif- 
ferent parts of the continent. In the arctic such 
records are not numerous, and consist principally 
of shell or refuse heaps, ruins of ancient stone 
houses, and numerous small objects such as are in 

1 Mercer, The Hill-Caves of Yucatan. 


use by the Eskimo to - day. The houses are fre- 
quently found in regions no longer inhabited, and 
their presence in such places has been cited to 
support certain theories regarding Eskimo mi- 
gration. 1 

In the eastern and central part of the continent, 
south of the arctic circle, appear a great number 
of remains which, while varying in details, yet show 
distinct relationship. Many classes of objects are 
limited in distribution, and indicate the existence of 
local cultural areas, or, if of wider occurrence, admit 
of classification into different groups. Yet archae- 
ological remains in general have so far not yielded 
sufficient material to permit the specification of 
definite prehistoric areas of culture; and many 
parts of the continent, particularly the western 
and south central states, have been examined very 
superficially or not at all, and the prehistoric records 
are practically unknown. Moreover, the same re- 
gion may be, and has often been, occupied in suc- 
cessive periods by peoples of different types. 

In view of the impossibility of any safe classifica- 
tion of human remains on the basis of the place of 
occurrence, we are forced to find some other classifica- 
tion, and a convenient one is a division into two 
groups: (i) local antiquities or monuments, in- 
cluding all objects which are fixed or stationary; (2) 
movable antiquities, including all the various relics 

1 Dall, " Tribes of the Extreme Northwest " (Contributions to 
North American Ethnology, I., pt. i.), 


and remains of smaller size. Local antiquities 
may be subdivided into mounds, refuse-heaps, en- 
closures, hut-rings, excavations, mines and quarries, 
cave deposits, graves and cemeteries, garden-beds, 
bowlder effigies, hearths or camp sites, petroglyphs, 
and ancient trails. 

Of these the mounds are perhaps the most im- 
portant, certainly the most famous. They have 
been classified according to shape as conical, elon- 
gate, pyramidal, and effigy mounds, (a) The conical, 
which include most of the burial-mounds, are of 
all sizes up to eighty or ninety feet in height and 
three hundred feet in diameter, (b) The elongate 
mounds or walls, of unknown purpose, are from fifty 
to nine hundred feet in length, from ten to twenty 
feet in breadth, and are seldom more than four feet 
in height, (c) The pyramidal form differs from the 
conical chiefly in having a flat top, sometimes ap- 
pearing like a mere earthen platform. Occasionally 
there are terraces on one or two sides, or a sort of 
roadway leading to the top. This type is found 
mainly in the lower Ohio Valley, Missouri, Arkansas, 
and the gulf states. It includes the two largest 
mounds known, the Cahokia, situated in Illinois, a 
few miles east of St. Louis, and the Etowah mound 
near Cartersville, Georgia, (d) The effigy mounds 
occur principally in Wisconsin and the adjacent 
parts of Illinois and Iowa, with a few in Ohio and 
Georgia. They are sometimes called emblematic or 
symbolic, but while some of them seem to have re- 


semblances to animal forms, it is quite impossible to 
say what most of them were intended to represent. 
The most famous of these is probably the Serpent 
Mound, in Adams County, Ohio. 1 

Another important group of works falls under 
the term "enclosures." While pyramidal mounds 
usually occur on level lowlands, these enclosures are 
frequently found on bluffs and hill-tops, and are 
sometimes known as "hill forts" in consequence. 
Walls of earth and stone are also found thrown 
across necks of land, in the bends of rivers, on the 
shore -lines of lakes, or in the rear of projecting 
bluffs whose precipitous sides would afford protec- 
tion from the attacks of enemies. The defensive 
purpose of many of these is evident enough, but 
in other cases their use is quite unknown. Fort 
Ancient, in Warren County, Ohio, may be regarded 
as the best example of these "hill forts." 2 

Other types of local antiquities need be referred 
to but briefly. In various parts of the country 
hundreds of rings of earth from five to fifteen feet 
in diameter, with the enclosed area more or less 
depressed, have been found. These are so obviously 
the remains of circular dwellings that they have 
been termed "hut-rings." In certain regions, no- 
tably in Arkansas, square house sites have been 
discovered, indicating at least a different if not a 

1 Putnam, " Serpent Mound of Ohio " (Century Magazine, 
April, 1890) ; Holmes," The Serpent Mound" (Science, December 
31, 1886). 2 Moorehead, Fort Ancient. 


more advanced type of culture. In connection with 
both varieties deposits of burned clay and ashes 
occur. The so-called "garden-beds," low, parallel 
ridges about six or eight inches high and four to 
ten feet apart, are chiefly found in Michigan and 
Wisconsin, but their significance is unknown. 

Mines and quarries are found in innumerable 
places, and in their neighborhood there are often the 
"workshops" where the rough material was further 
worked over. At these quarries there are often great 
numbers of broken pieces, imperfect or defective 
specimens, rejects, etc., showing all stages of the 
process of manufacture from the first beginning up 
to the finished implement. The quarries and quarry 
workshops which are most common are those for the 
manufacture of flaked implements, such as arrow- 
points, spear-heads, stone knives, and the like. For 
this purpose bowlders of suitable rock, as, for ex- 
ample, quartzite, were sought, and the quarries are 
found where deposits of such bowlders or favorable 
rock occur. The implements were made by fractur- 
ing and chipping the rock into suitable shapes. 
Softer formations, such as steatite or soapstone, were 
quarried from massive deposits by means of picks 
and chisels of harder and tougher stone. 1 Copper 

1 Holmes, "Stone Implements of the Potomac - Tidewater 
Province " (Bureau of Ethnology, Fifteenth Annual Report) ; also 
two shorter papers by the same author — viz., " A Quarry Work- 
shop of the Flaked Stone Implement Makers in the D. C." and 
" Excavations in an Ancient Soapstone Quarry in the D. C." 
(American Anthropologist, III., 1, 321). 


was also mined by the aboriginal Americans, and the 
signs of their work are quite common in the Lake 
Superior copper district. The method was appar- 
ently simply to batter away the surrounding rock 
from the native metal with stone hammers. 1 

The investigation of these quarries and quarry 
workshops not only throws light on the methods 
of manufacture, but reveals the fact that many 
of the more roughly chipped specimens formerly 
regarded as crude implements and possible indi- 
cations of palaeolithic man may be nothing more 
than rejects or imperfect or only partly finished 
implements. As the rocks found in different local- 
ities often show marked variation, a careful study 
of the distribution of the different artifacts might 
throw much light on the early lines of travel and 
intercommunication . 

Perhaps as important a class of remains as any 
other are the burial-mounds, graves, and cemeter- 
ies, for these yield not only skeletons but also 
the greater portion of the movable remains — the 
vessels, implements, and ornaments, which reveal 
at least something of the art and culture of the 
former inhabitants of the different regions. The 
shell mounds of the southern states have also been 

1 Whittlesey, Ancient Mining on the Shores of Lake Superior 
(Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge , XIII., No. 155) ; Pack- 
ard, " Pre-Columbian Copper Mining in North America " (Smith- 
sonian Institution, Report, 1892, pp. 175-198); Holmes, " Ab- 
original Copper Mines of Isle Royale " {American Anthropologist , 
N. S., III., 684-696). 


the source of large collections of objects of sig- 

The comparative study of some of the finds 
from these deposits has already proven of value. 1 
For example, the pottery of the area east of the 
Mississippi seems to show but slight resemblance in 
character to that of other regions. In decorative 
designs there seem to be similarities between the 
southeast, particularly Florida, and the West Indies, 
making a certain interchange of culture elements 
highly probable. There are also traces of Yucatan 
influences on the gulf coast of the Florida peninsula. 

Another interesting set of objects is represent- 
ed by articles and ornaments of shell. The shell 
gorgets in particular show elaborate designs, some 
of them bearing such strong resemblance to Mexi- 
can art that it is difficult to regard it as the result of 
chance. Numerous articles of beaten copper, such 
as axes, spindles, disks, ear-pendants, rings, brace- 
lets, etc., have also come to light, particularly in 
the shell mounds of Florida, and also in Ohio and 
Georgia. They have excited no little discussion as 
to whether they represent truly aboriginal work- 
manship or not, the majority of investigators ap- 
parently thinking that there is no good evidence 
of European influence. 2 A few objects beaten out 

1 Holmes, " Aboriginal Pottery of the Eastern United 
States" (Bureau of Ethnology, Twentieth Annual Report). 

2 Cf. discussion on the subject by C. B. Moore et al., in 
American Anthropologist, N. S., V., 27-57. 


of native silver and gold or meteoric iron have also 
been found. It cannot be shown that any of these 
metals were ever smelted from the ore, though 
copper and the precious metals were sometimes 
cast in ancient Mexico. All iron objects which have 
been found, except the few of meteoric iron, are of 
European manufacture. 

Of all prehistoric remains, stone objects are the 
most common; and together with pottery form 
the bulk of archaeological collections. This is due 
in large part to their resistance to destructive 
agencies, for objects of wood and vegetable materials 
decay rapidly, and even bone objects are preserved 
only under favorable conditions. Among the most 
important classes of stone objects are the few hu- 
man images discovered, mainly in Georgia, Tennes- 
see, and southern Illinois. They all exhibit con- 
siderable similarity, varying in size from a few 
inches to over a foot in height. 1 Another interest- 
ing group of objects are supposed to have been used 
for ceremonial purposes. They are finely finished 
and polished, as a rule, and were made of various 
kinds of stone, slate being the favorite material. 
They include such objects as "banner stones," bird 
or saddle stones, boat-shaped implements, etc. 

Weapons in great variety, such as arrow-points, 
spear-heads, knives, axes, celts, etc., form a large 
group and have been divided into numerous classes, 

1 Thomas, " Stone Images from Mounds and Ancient Graves " 
(American Anthropologist, IX., 404-408). 


mainly according to form. Tools of many kinds 
exist in great numbers, such as hammers, gouges, 
scrapers, drills, adzes, chisels, and knives; and also 
utensils, such as soapstone vessels, mortars and pes- 
tles, in great variety. Pipes carved out of stone are 
not at all uncommon and often show fine workman- 
ship. Among ornaments and miscellaneous objects 
may be mentioned pendants, beads, disks, plummets 
or sinkers, and many other articles the use of which 
is not known. 1 

For the now generally accepted belief that the 
makers of all these various objects were none other 
than the ancestors of the present Indians there 
are several reasons. In the first place, the general 
culture revealed by the remains is practically the 
same as that of the Indians before they were 
modified by contact with the whites. Moreover, 
the early explorers found mounds used as sites for 
dwellings; and not only ascribe their construction 
to the Indians, but describe the methods by which 
they were built. 3 Fortifications are also known 
to have been erected and used by the Indians. 
Additional evidence comes from the mounds them- 
selves, since iron objects and articles of undoubted 
European manufacture have been found in a number 
of them, showing that some at least were constructed 

1 The literature on stone implements and objects is voluminous. 
A general work with many references is Moorehead, Prehistoric 
Implements: A Reference Book. 

2 Thomas, American Archceology, chap. x. 

VOL. ii. — 6 


since the advent of Europeans. Yet in some regions, 
as Ohio, where some of the most important of these 
structures are found, there is good reason for 
thinking that their construction was not due to 
any tribe known to have inhabited the region 
within historic times. Some writers ascribed their 
origin to the Cherokees, who have traditions to that 
effect, but this conclusion is doubtful. In any case 
the culture exhibited in the mounds is not beyond 
that of many Indian tribes; and the theory of a 
pre-Indian race of mound-builders is unnecessary, 
and brings in the difficulty of accounting for the 
total disappearance of such a race. 

Turning now to the western portion of the con- 
tinent we find, outside of Mexico, several well- 
marked cultural areas, of which it will be sufficient 
to mention the northwest coast, California, and 
the pueblo region. The archaeology of the north 
Pacific region is closely connected with the present 
inhabitants of that section, who will be described 
below. 1 In California, especially to the south, but 
little is known of the culture of the aboriginal in- 
habitants, who seem to have readily yielded to the 
teachings of the early Spanish missionaries and 
rapidly dwindled under their care. On the coast 
and islands of southern California some very in- 

1 Smith, Archeology of Lytton, B. C. (Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., 
Memoirs, 1899) ; Archeology of the Thompson River Region, B. C. 
{ibid., 1900); Shell Heaps of the Lower Fraser River, B. C. 
(ibid., 1903). 


teresting finds have been made, especially of stone 
articles. Pottery seems to have been unknown in 
this region until after the coming of the Spaniards. 1 
In the pueblo region, however, most remarkable 
remains have been found. High up on the sides of 
many of the numerous canons of this section were 
discovered the ruins of old stone buildings contain- 
ing from a single room to more than a hundred, 
and sometimes three or four stories high. The 
largest of these, known as Cliff Palace, is estimated 
to have one hundred and twenty - five rooms on the 
ground floor alone. These structures are perched 
on lofty and almost inaccessible ledges or shelves 
along the walls of the canons, and are protected by 
the overhanging cliffs above. They are especially 
numerous in the region of the Mesa Verde, in south- 
western Colorado, but are found in many of the 
neighboring canons, and even in the region west 
of the Colorado and in northern Mexico. As they 
are well protected by recesses in the canon wall, 
not only the stone- work, but the wooden beams of 
the floors between the different stories are well pre- 
served. On examination these ruins have yielded 
a large number of interesting objects. Among 
them may be enumerated several skeletons, one 
wrapped in a kind of feather cloth, others in mat- 

1 Gates, Prehistoric Man in California; Gates, in Moorehead, 
Prehistoric Implements, 230-252; also reports by F. W. Putnam 
et al., in U. S. Geographical Surveys West of the 100th Meridian, 
VII. (Archaeology). 


ting; cotton cloth, mats and baskets of osiers; 
sandals of yucca leaves and cords of yucca fibres; 
pottery of various types ; numerous objects of stone, 
bone, and wood ; also corn, both shelled and on the 
cob, and beans. The wooden articles and textile 
fabrics were remarkably well preserved. 1 

In addition to the cliff dwellings, which are merely 
stone houses built on protected ledges, cave dwellings 
and artificial cavate abodes are also found. These 
occur chiefly on the west side of the Rio Grande, 
between Santa Clara and Cochiti, and in the upper 
San Juan y alley. In some cases these seem to have 
been cut out of the solid rock, usually a soft volcanic 
tufa or shale. 2 

On the plateaus and in the valleys of the south- 
west ruins of stone buildings are quite common as 
far west as the one hundred and thirteenth merid- 
ian; those which have been most thoroughly ex- 
amined are chiefly in the drainage area of the San 
Juan River. Many of these structures have prob- 
ably been inhabited within historic times; others 
were doubtless in ruins when the Spaniards first ar- 
rived. Some of the largest and most remarkable 
are situated in the Chaco Canon; one of these, 
known as Pueblo Bonito, is roughly semicircular in 

1 Nordenskiold, The Cliff Dwellers of the Mesa Verde; Birdsall, 
"The Cliff Dwellings of the Canons of the Mesa Verde" (Am. 
Geog. Soc, Bulletin, XXIII., 584-620). 

2 Holmes, Report on the Ancient Ruins of Southwestern Colorado, 
Examined in 1875 and 1876; U. S. Geol. and Geog. Survey of 
the Territories, Tenth Report, 388. 


outline and about five hundred and thirty feet in 
length by three hundred and eight in width. The 
rooms are arranged around a central court, being 
five or six deep in the curved portion and doubt- 
less several stories high next the outer wall. The 
whole arrangement was evidently for protection 
from enemies, as in the case of some of the modern 

In the Gila Valley are numerous adobe ruins, Casa 
Grande being the best known. 1 In this region are 
also found large ditches and remains of a former 
system of irrigation, by which it is estimated that 
at least two hundred and fifty thousand acres could 
be supplied. 2 In northern Mexico, in the western 
part of the state of Chihuahua, are several ruins 
similar to those of the Gila valley, known as Casas 
Grandes, or "Great Houses." The culture of their 
inhabitants seems to have been somewhat higher 
than that of the more northern pueblos, as indi- 
cated by certain household utensils, the possible ex- 
istence of stairways in the interior of the houses, and 
by the method of constructing irrigation ditches. 3 

Who were the builders of these old ruins ? With 
regard to the cliff dwellings in particular many 

1 Mindeleff, "Casa Grande Ruin" (Bureau of Ethnology, 
Thirteenth Annual Report, 289-319). 

2 Hodge, " Prehistoric Irrigation in Arizona" (American An~ 
thro polo gist, VI., 323-33°) • 

8 Bandelier, Final Report of Investigations Among the Indians 
of the Southwestern U. S.; Archaeological Institute of America, 
Papers American Series, IV., 569. 


theories have been advanced. The idea of a dis- 
tinct cliff-dwelling race, which has since entirely 
disappeared, has been generally discarded, and it is 
now generally believed that part of the buildings at 
least were constructed and used by the ancestors of 
some of the present Pueblo Indians; perhaps some 
of them were built by the ancestors of the present 
Navajos. 1 

That some of these structures were occupied dur- 
ing historic times 2 is made probable by the tradi- 
tions of some of the neighboring tribes. Certain 
of the Hopi clans claim to have lived at Canon de 
Chelly; 3 others on the upper Rio Grande, in the 
Gila Valley. 4 The possible accuracy of such legends 
is illustrated by the discussion which arose recently 
over the claim of the Acoma Indians to have once 
lived on the " Enchanted Mesa," in which their tra- 
dition was fully supported 5 by investigation. On 
the other hand, there is historical evidence that 
some of the pueblos were deserted and in ruins at 
the time of Coronado's expedition in 1540. 6 

1 Hodge, "The Early Navajo and Apache," in American 
Anthropologist, VIII., 239. 

2 Mindeleff, "Cliff Ruins of Canon de Chelly, Arizona" 
(Bureau of Ethnology, Sixteenth Annual Report), 162, 163. 

3 Ibid. , 191. 

4 Fewkes, "Tusayan Migration Legends" (Bureau of American 
Ethnology, Nineteenth Annual Report, pt. ii., 573-634). 

5 Hodge, " The Enchanted Mesa," in National Geographic Mag- 
azine, VIII., 273-284). 

c Report of Hernando de Alvarado, in Winship, " The Cor- 
onado Expedition" (Bureau of Ethnology, Fourteenth Annual 
Report, pt. i., 594). 


Hand-in-hand with the question of the antiquity 
of man on the continent goes the problem of whence 
he came. Unfortunately, this important question 
must be answered by the admission that the only 
conservative and defensible position at the present 
day is one of frank ignorance. Theories of Asiatic, 
European, African, or Polynesian origin are all 
equally dangerous and weak. Geological solutions 
by lost Atlantises and former land bridges from the 
Old World may be invoked, but convince nobody 
except their proposers. The thorough ethnological 
studies which are now under way may at some time 
in the future throw light upon the problem; and 
we have arrived at the point of assurance that, in 
the past, northwestern America and northeastern 
Asia formed one area of culture. Whether that of 
the west came from the east, or that of the east 
was derived from the west, it is as yet impossible 
to say. 1 

1 Bogoras, in American Anthropologist, N. S., IV. (1902), 577. 
Cf . also the Jesup North Pacific Expedition Reports (Am. Mus. 
of Nat. Hist., Memoirs, 1 898-1 904). 




THOUGH there is no universally accepted 
scheme of classification of the native races of 
America, their essential unity is always recognized. 
Viewed broadly, their racial relations are closer to 
the Mongoloid type of man than to any other. 
But even essential unity allows wide variation in 
details, and Nature has seized her privilege in pro- 
ducing the existing confusion of Indian stocks. 
Anthropologists of to-day determine groups on one 
of four sets of characteristics — physical, linguistic, 
geographical, and general culture. The first two 
criteria are the more exact, and the linguistic 
classification of North American tribes has been 
accepted as the most satisfactory for scientific 
study. The latter two criteria are the more con- 
venient and sometimes the only feasible bases of 
classification. Hence, for the purposes of this 
volume, a combination of the geographical and 
cultural will be followed. Nevertheless, it must 
never be forgotten that the limits of physical, 


linguistic, and cultural groups do not correspond; 
and the overlapping of stocks determined by those 
criteria is an unavoidable complication. 

The physical characteristics of the American race 
are difficult to formulate in general terms. The 
Indian is, however, as a rule, of fairly high stature, 
five feet eight or ten inches, though undersized in 
certain groups, notably in the far north and in the 
extreme south. On the other hand, he has a very 
tall stature, six feet or over, in some groups, such 
as the prairie tribes of North America, and certain 
peoples of the Amazon basin and of Patagonia in 
the southern continent. 

The hair is almost invariably black, coarse, long, 
and straight on the head, and scanty on the face 
and body. The smooth face of the male Indian is 
often due, however, to the almost universal practice 
of extracting the beard by the roots. 

The color of the skin is of all shades of brown, rang- 
ing from a relatively dark complexion m the uplands 
to a light yellowish in certain woodland stocks. The 
so-called "Red Indian" does not exist. The early 
observers saw Indians painted red, and perhaps a 
reddish tone was present in the skin of the eastern 
woodland stocks with which European immigrants 
first came into contact. In the vast majority of 
the Indians no such tint is discernible. 

The shape of the skull is neither decidedly 
dolichocephalic nor brachycephalic except in spe- 
cial extreme instances, but in general is of the 


mesocephalic type. The Eskimo, however, are one 
of the longest-headed races on the earth, and certain 
stocks both in North and South America are mark- 
edly broad-headed. The custom of deforming the 
heads of new-born children by artificial pressure 
has produced some extreme types, which, however, 
have no biological significance. 

The cheek-bones are usually prominent, but with 
lateral rather than high projection; in some regions 
this feature is not evident. The nose is usually 
large and prominent; it is often aquiline, but in 
certain groups, particularly among the tribes of the 
northwest coast, it is short and has a tendency to 
flatness. The eyes are very dark and usually rather 
small. In the northwest the oblique eye often 
appears, and the same tendency is seen in the 
children of many stocks even when it is not evident 
in the adult. 

All these characteristics are fairly general, par- 
ticularly in North America, but variations sufficient 
to form recognizable types are not infrequent. For 
example, the short, squat Eskimo, with Mongoloid 
features and light skin, is strikingly different from 
the tall, dark, impressive Sioux or Algonkin; and 
the coarse-faced Indian of Puget Sound is easily 
distinguished from the more delicately featured 
native of the southwest. 

As has been stated above, linguistic characteristics 
have proven the most trustworthy basis for group- 
ing the vast number of tribes of the northern 

105' Longitude 


continent. The languages of North America in 
general are highly agglutinative. Suffixes, pre- 
fixes, and parts of speech are added to the verb 
to a bewildering degree, and all the terms of any 
sentence tend to be brought together into a single 
word, in most cases the verb with which subject 
and object have been incorporated. These common 
characteristics do not prevent, however, a very wide 
diversity, not only in the vocabularies, but in the 
structures and morphologies of the different Amer- 
ican languages. 

Much attention has been and is being given to the 
analysis of the Indian tongues. Tentative classifica- 
tions of linguistic families have been made, based 
upon inspection and comparison of vocabularies, and 
fortunately are for the most part sustained by 
comparisons based on syntax. When such com- 
parison shows that the resemblances between two 
languages are not sufficient to indicate a common 
origin or undeniable relation, the two groups are 
regarded as independent stocks or families. The 
exact number of such stocks in North America it is 
at present impossible to state, but it is probably 
about seventy-five. It must be remembered that 
each of these stocks may, and in most cases does, 
speak many dialects so different as to be mutually 
unintelligible, even though grammatically related. 
The distribution of stock languages also varies 
widely, some extending nearly across the con- 
tinent and embracing hundreds of divisions, while 


others are confined to a few square miles and are 
spoken by a handful of survivors. 

The Bureau of Ethnology 1 in Washington has 
determined fifty-nine independent linguistic families 
north of Mexico, and with certain slight modifica- 
tions we may accept this as the best classification 
at our disposal. The distribution of these stocks 
when first met by Europeans is shown in the ac- 
companying map reproduced from a report of the 
bureau. To avoid confusion, the termination "an" 
or "ian" has been given to the family name to 
distinguish it from a merely tribal designation; but 
wherever possible the name for the family has been 
derived from that of one of its tribes, a convenient 
method though it gives rise to some unwieldy 
terms. It must also be remembered that most of 
the tribes and stocks have been described in 
literature under many different names, and as a 
consequence the common designation is often very 
different from the technical. These discrepancies 
will so far as possible be made clear in subsequent 
chapters. The stocks with their most important 
constituent tribes, according to the classification of 
the Bureau of Ethnology, are as follows : 

Algonquian family. — Principal tribes: Abnaki, Al- 
gonkin, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Conoy, Cree, Delaware 
(Lenape), Fox, Illinois, Kickapoo, Massachuset, 
Menominee, Miami, Micmac, Mohegan, Montagnais, 

1 Powell, " Indian Linguistic Families " (Bureau of Ethnology, 
Seventh Annual Report, 1891). 


Montauk, Munsee, Nanticoke, Narraganset, Nau- 
set, Nipmuc, Ojibwa, Ottawa, Pamlico, Pennacook, 
Pequot, Piankishaw, Pottawotomi, Powhatan, Sauk, 
Shawnee, Siksika (Blackfoot), Wampanoag, Wap- 

Athapascan family. — Principal tribes: Northern 
group — Ahtena, Chippewyan, Kenai, Kuchin, Lou- 
cheux, Nahauni, Sarcee, Sicauni, Slave, Taculli. 
Pacific group — Chasta, Chetco, Hupa, Rogue River 
(various tribes), Umpqua. Southern group — 
Apache, Aricaipa, Chiracahua, Coyotero, Jicarilla, 
Lipan, Mescalero, Navajo. 

Attacapan family. 

Beothukan family. 

Caddoan family. — Principal tribes: Adaize, 
Arikara, Caddo, Pawnee, Wichita. 

Chimakuan family. — Principal tribes : Chimakum, 

Chimarikan family. 

Chimmesyan family. — Principal tribes: Nasqua, 

Chinookan family. — Principal tribes : Lower Chin- 
ook group — Chinook, Clatsop. Upper Chinook 
group — Cathlamet, Clackama, Multnoma, Wahkia- 
cum, Wasco. 

Chitimachan family. 

Chumashan family. 

Coahuiltecan family. 

Copehan family. 

Costanoan family. 


Eskimauan family. — Principal tribes and villages 
may be classified in groups as follows: Greenland, 
Labrador, Central, Alaskan, Aleutian, Asiatic. 

Esselenian family. 

Iroquoian family. — Principal tribes : Cayuga, Cher- 
okee, Conestoga, Erie, Mohawk, Neuter, Nottoway, 
Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca, Tionontate, Tuscarora, 

Kalapooian family. 

Karankawan family. 

Keresan family. 

Kiowan family. 

Kitunahan family. — Principal tribes: Upper, 
Lower, and Flathead Kootenay. 

Koluschan family. — Principal tribes : Chilcat, Sitka, 
Yakutat, etc., usually grouped under name Tlingit. 

Kulanapan family. 

Kusan family. 

Lutuamian family. — Principal tribes: Klamath 
and Modoc. 

Mariposan family. 

Moquelumnan family. 

Muskhogean family. — Principal tribes: Alabama, 
Apalachi, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek or Maskoki, 
and Seminole. 

Natchesan family. 

Palaihnihan family. 

Piman family. 

Pujunan family. 

Quoratean family. 


Salinan family. 

Salishan family. — Principal tribes: Bellacoola, 
Chehalis, Clallam, Colville, Cowlitz, Okinagan, 
Puyallup, Quinault, Shuswap, Skokomish, Snoho- 
mish, Spokan, Thompson, Tillamook. 

Sastean family. 

Shahaptian family. — Principal tribes: Nez Perce 
(Chopunnish) , Klikitat, Paloos, Tenaino, Umatilla, 
Walla Walla. 

Shoskonean family. — Principal tribes: Bannock, 
Comanche, Paiute, Shoshone, Tusayan, Ute. 

Siouan family. — Principal groups and tribes: 
Dakota group, including Santee, Sisseton, Wahpeton, 
Yankton, Yanktonnais, and Teton (Brule, Ogalalla, 
Uncpapa, etc.), Assinaboin, Omaha, Ponca, Kaw, 
Osage, Quapaw, Iowa, Otoe, Missouri, Winnebago, 
Mandan, Gros Ventre, Crow, Tutelo, Biloxi, Catawba, 

Skittagetan family. — Principal tribes: Haida, 

Takilman family. 

Tanoan family. 

Timuquanan family. 

Tonikan family. 

Tonkawan family. 

U eke an family. 

Waiilatpuan family. — Principal tribes: Cayuse, 

Wakashan family. — Principal groups: Aht and 
Haeltzuk divisions. 


Washoan family. 

Weitspekan family. 

Wishoskan family. 

Yakonan family. 

Yanan family. 

Yukian family. 

Yuman family. 

Zunian family. 

It must not be supposed that the list given above 
is final, for it is quite possible that modifications 
will result from more complete linguistic knowledge ; 
but it is evident to-day that such changes will not 
be fundamental, and the classification as it stands 
is a splendid achievement. 

The distribution of the families as shown by the 
map suggests several points of interest. It will be 
seen that in most cases the stocks occupy con- 
tinuous areas, which argues strongly for the view 
that the Indians at the time of the arrival of the 
Europeans were mainly stationary ; that is, were not 
nomadic, for of course movements and campaigns of 
greater or less extent were taking place constantly. 
On the other hand, such a dispersion as that ex- 
hibited by the Athapascan stock, with its two great 
bodies, one in the extreme north and the other on 
the Mexican border, indicates earlier migration of 
great magnitude : it could not have been recent, for 
there has been time for the dialects to become 
widely differentiated and for the cultures to change 
with the environments, until there are few phases to 


be recognized as common. Similar, but less striking, 
dispersions are to be seen in the Siouan, Algonquian, 
Iroquoian, Shoshonean, and other families. 

In speculating as to times and periods of separa- 
tion, it must be remembered that these linguistic 
differences between families are not dialectic but 
fundamental; and the length of time necessary to 
effect such developments is staggering to con- 
template. From the nature of the evidence our 
knowledge of the prehistoric migrations can never 
be exact. Physiographic features, doubtless, deter- 
mined the direction of the movements in a majority 
of cases, and linguistic and archaeological information 
tends to support that view. What particular in- 
ducement or pressure may have caused the Atha- 
pascan and other dispersions it is impossible to say ; 
but the course of the movements can sometimes be 
inferred. The Athapascan movement was probably 
from the north southward along the plateaus or 
the great plains to the Mexican border; and sub- 
sequent pressure from the east pushed a number of 
the family representatives westward to the Pacific 
coast, where, cut off and isolated, they form the 
scattered intrusions which have long puzzled the 
students of American ethnology. The original 
habitat of the Siouan stock was certainly in the 
east, and there is fair evidence that it was found 
in the southeastern states between the Alleghanies 
and the sea. The Siouan occupancy of the Ohio 
Valley was not long antecedent to the coming of the 

VOL. IX. — 7 


whites; and the later extension over the northern 
plains was within historic times. Several small 
remnants were left behind by the Sioux and became 
known to the Europeans as the Catawba, Tutelo, 
Biloxi, and other tribes of the family in the Carolinas 
and the gulf states. This family in its migrations 
came early into collision with the westward move- 
ment of the Algonquian stock, chiefly represented 
by the powerful group of the Ojibwa, who in common 
with the other eastern families were being subjected 
to severe pressure at the hands of the Iroquois. 

With regard to the Algonquian migrations all 
evidence points to the north Atlantic region as the 
centre from which the southern and western ex- 
tension proceeded. The original Iroquoian home 
was probably the lower St. Lawrence, whence they 
were driven west and south by Algonquian hostility. 
The date of the breaking away of the Cherokee, their 
largest tribe and most southern representative, is 
entirely unknown, but in view of the linguistic dif- 
ferentiation it must have been at a very early period. 
The other tribes of the family were found on the 
lower St. Lawrence by the French in 1535, and their 
expulsion by the i\lgonquians was subsequent to 
that date. The formation of the Iroquois league 
profoundly modified the movements of the two 
stocks of the region. The direction of the Sho- 
shonean dispersion is difficult to infer. The rep- 
resentatives in the United States would appear to 
have moved southward along the plateaus and 


diverged into southern California and the pueblo 
region of the southwest. Many competent au- 
thorities regard the Aztec or Nahua as a branch 
of this family; and if so, the movement may 
have been primarily northward with a subsequent 

While these great movements had doubtless been 
in progress for many centuries, and were going on 
at the time of the discovery, the evidence is in 
favor of relative fixity of residence. The Indians 
were not nomadic, but occupied well-defined areas, 
with sparsely settled territories between the groups. 

The number of the aborigines has been absurdly 
over-estimated. 1 Clearly, when the whites first ap- 
peared the population was very small in proportion 
to the enormous territory which it occupied. The 
density of the population varied greatly with the 
character of the country and the food supply; and 
inferences with regard to the peopling of untra veiled 
parts of the continent, from observations on the 
regions first visited by Europeans, are extremely 
dangerous. Compilations of figures from the state- 
ments of early writers would indicate a population 
of somewhat under two hundred thousand for the 
territory east of the Mississippi, at the time of the 
discovery. The Pacific coast also undoubtedly sup- 

1 Mallery, " The Former and Present Number of Our 
Indians " (Am. Assoc. Advancement of Science, Proceedings , for 
1877), p. 340; Powell, " Indian Linguistic Families " (Bureau of 
Ethnology, Seventh Annual Report, 33), 


ported a numerous population, but the great inter- 
vening portion of the continent was probably thinly- 
peopled. It is not likely that the Indians north of 
Mexico numbered much more than five hundred 
thousand when the whites appeared. The decrease 
during the four centuries that have elapsed since the 
discovery, while not rapid, except in certain cases, 
has nevertheless been constant. 

The government statistics indicate a present 
Indian population for the area named of something 
less than four hundred thousand, but it must be 
remembered that this enumeration includes a very 
large proportion of mixed bloods. In certain regions 
like the Pacific coast imperfect assimilation of 
civilized methods of life and consequent unhygienic 
conditions, coupled with the ravages of many 
diseases of white introduction, are causing a rapid 
decrease in the Indian population; and with the 
death rate markedly higher than the birth rate, its 
early extinction in that section is inevitable. In 
other regions, such as the southwest, the Indian 
seems to be more nearly holding his own, though 
even there much of his apparent success in the 
struggle is due to the inclusion of mixed bloods in 
the census. In general, it is clear that he is slowly 
but surely giving way. Statistics from Mexico are 
scanty, but the indications are that the native 
population in that country is not losing ground. 

The map also brings out the fact that linguistic 
and cultural limits do not coincide except in the 


case of small families. Considering the extreme 
variations in climate and general character which 
the continent presents, it is not strange that widely 
different cultures should obtain in different regions. 
The shores of the Arctic Ocean and the deserts of the 
southwest must necessarily produce sharp con- 
trasts in the manner of life of the inhabitants; 
and the same will be true for the forest-dwelling 
tribes of the east and the Indians of the great 
plains. For purposes of description it becomes 
necessary to devise a grouping on a combined basis 
of geographical distribution and general culture. 
It is difficult if not impossible in dealing with the 
complex psychological and social phenomena which 
go to make up what we call culture, to lay down any 
criteria for comparison which will be satisfactory in 
all fields. What is characteristic in art may not 
apply to religion; and the result of a comparison 
in social organization will not hold in industrial life. 

The only possible method of describing the Indian 
tribes is to resort to a broad basis of generalization 
which must, from the very nature of the subject, be 
inexact in details. A classification which includes 
considerations both of geography and culture, and 
which seems open to less objection than any other, 
is the following: 

I. The Eskimo; II. The tribes of the north 
Pacific coast; III. The tribes of the Mackenzie 
River basin and the high plateaus; IV. The tribes 
of the Columbia River and California ; V. the tribes 


of the plains; VI. the tribes of the eastern wood- 
lands; VII. the tribes of the southwest and of 
Mexico. It must not be inferred that these groups 
all exhibit striking differences in every field, or that 
further logical subdivision might not be made. It 
will be noticed, however, that the groups suggested 
correspond roughly to great specialized physical 
areas of the continent; and they will be seen later 
to possess some strongly marked cultural distinctions. 




THE word Eskimo is derived from the Abnaki 
dialect of the Algonquian and means "he eats 
raw flesh," a characterization quickly made by the 
southern neighbors of the group in question. The 
Eskimo themselves use the term Innuit, or "people," 
following the usual egotistical habit of primitive 
men in designating their own particular group. 
The distribution of the Eskimo is uniform and the 
cultural results are very significant and interesting. 
They are essentially a coast people and confined 
to the higher latitudes of the continent; and, not- 
withstanding the enormous separation and practical 
isolation of their constituent villages, the uniformity 
of their type, language, and culture is one of the 
most striking lessons of ethnography. 

Their seat is the coast of North America from 
southern Labrador around the arctic shores to 
southern Alaska. Offshoots have pushed north 
to Smith Sound in Greenland and west across 
Bering Strait to Asia. Seldom ranging more than 
a few miles from the coast except on hunting ex- 



peditions, they seem to have held their undesirable 
foothold secure against all attacks from the interior. 
The earlier southern extension of the Eskimo has 
given rise to much discussion, conjecture, and asser- 
tion. 1 That they formerly occupied the Atlantic 
coast as far south as New England is not only 
possible but probable. That they ranged south 
of that territory is unlikely. 

To the problem of the origin of the Eskimo, or, 
better, their point of dispersion, have been applied 
many vagaries of reasoning and guess. The favorite 
view has been that their origin was Asiatic, and 
that crossing Bering Strait they pushed along the 
arctic coast and down the Atlantic until apparently 
checked by counter influences. This idea, based 
on a popular preference for Asiatic beginnings, 
was strengthened by a superficial facial resemblance 
of the Eskimo to Mongoloid types, and later by 
the belief of some scientific authorities in a deri- 
vation from the early cave men of Europe. 2 This 
theory is founded upon very scanty material and 
equally loose ethnological reasoning. Without en- 
tering into the details of the controversy, there can 
be no doubt that the weight of authority to-day is 
not only in favor of considering the Eskimo as 
essentially American in type but also as American in 
origin, so far as origins can be traced at all. The 

1 Packard, in American Naturalist, 1885, p. 471. 

2 Dawkins, Early Man in Britain, 233; John Fiske, Dis- 
covery of America, 17. 


prevailing view is that the primeval home or point 
of dispersion was somewhere south of Hudson's Bay; 
and that from there a migration in three directions 
took place — northeast into Labrador and Greenland, 
north to the shores of the arctic, and northwest to 
Alaska and Asia. 1 

As a rule, the Eskimo are undersized, but in the 
west, and notably in the Mackenzie River region, 
they are tall, muscular, and vigorous. 2 Their faces 
are very broad; noses fairly prominent; hair dark, 
usually black, and fairly abundant on the face ; eyes 
dark brown or sometimes blue. The skin color 
ranges through all shades of brown, but is usually 
moderately dark. The skull is very dolichocephalic 
in most cases, but not invariably. Recent careful 
investigations of the brain development of the 
Eskimo indicate that it compares very favorably 
with that of Europeans. 3 

The Eskimo afford a capital example of the de- 
pendence of culture on environment. The climatic 
conditions deprive them of any considerable use 
of vegetable food or of the flesh of land animals, 
and they are forced to seek nutrition from the sea. 
Not alone for food, but to a great extent for clothing, 

1 Rink, The Eskimo Tribes; Boas, " The Central Eskimo " 
(Bureau of Ethnology, Sixth Annual Report); Murdoch, in 
American Anthropologist, 1888, p. 129. 

2 Petitot, Vocabulaire Francais-Esquimau, 1876, p. xii. 

8 Hrdlicka, An Eskimo Brain; Spitzka, " Contributions to 
the Encephalic Anatomy of the Races " {Am. Jour, of Anat- 
omy, II., 25). 


fuel, and other necessities, they have made provision 
with great ingenuity. Seal and walrus are their 
staples — the meat for food, the fat for light and fuel, 
the skins for clothing and protection, the bones 
for the framework of canoes, etc. The popular 
impression that the Eskimo live mainly upon blubber 
and fat is entirely wrong, for that article is far too 
precious and necessary for light and heat to be 
wasted on food. 

Their winter houses are built of blocks of packed 
snow, in the form, roughly, of a hemisphere, and in- 
volving the principle of the arch. Summer houses 
are constructed of skins. One of the most interest- 
ing of Eskimo devices is the stone lamp in which 
blubber oil is burned by means of a wick of moss. 
The origin and distribution of the Eskimo lamp 
have given rise to much discussion. It is held by 
some that it was derived from the Scandinavians 
in Greenland in comparatively recent times, and 
thence spread rapidly from group to group until it 
became one of the most distinctive of Eskimo 
utensils. Other authorities regard it as entirely 
an indigenous device. 1 

Next to the lamp, the development of the dog- 
sledge and the skin canoe must be regarded as the 
important factors in the industrial life of these people. 
They are both admirably suited to their purposes and 

1 Tylor, in Jour. Anthrop. Inst., 1884, p. 349; consult, also, 
Hough, " The Origin and Range of the Eskimo Lamp," in 
American Anthropologist, 1898,0. 118. 


are usually adopted at once by whites or members 
of other tribes who come among them. The skill 
of the Eskimo hunter in handling his "kayak" in the 
pursuit of walrus and seal has become proverbial. 

Eskimo decorative art exhibits striking variations, 
and is one of the phases of culture upon which much 
has been based in the theories of origin and distri- 
bution. In the eastern and central groups the art 
is rude and in places may hardly be said to exist. 
As one passes westward it becomes richer and richer, 
until in Alaska the carving and etching on bone and 
ivory and the work in basketry of the Aleutian 
Islanders are among the most beautiful examples 
of primitive aesthetic and technical production. In 
this connection, too, should be mentioned the pas- 
sion for music and the facility in the composition 
of songs, which the Eskimo display. These songs 
are usually occasional or topical. Competitions in 
versification are frequent and are often used as a 
means of settling disputes and quarrels even of a 
serious nature, in which case the audience acts as 
judge. 1 

The religion of the Eskimo is animistic and much 
like that of all American peoples. Great numbers 
of spirits are believed to exist and to exert immediate 
influence upon human affairs. Dealings with these 
spirits are carried on chiefly through the shamans, 
usually known as " angekoks," who may be of either 

1 Cranz, History of Greenland, 178; Nansen, First Crossing of 
Greenland, 337. 


sex. As a rule, one of the spirits is regarded as 
superior to all others, and in certain regions — e. g., 
among the central Eskimo — this spirit is a woman. 
It is she who creates and transforms, who receives 
the souls of the dead ; and it is to her that most of 
the ceremonials are devoted, and about her that the 
chief myths centre. 

The social organization of the Eskimo is based 
on the immediate family, and no clan or gentile 
system is in use except in Alaska, where it has un- 
doubtedly been derived from contact with Indians. 1 
Marriage between those of recognized relationship 
is forbidden, and monogamy is the rule, though po- 
lygamy is permitted and common where the means 
of the husband are sufficient for the support of 
the additional families. A man's property usually 
descends to his eldest son, who is then bound to 
provide for his mother and younger brothers and 
sisters, or the same duty devolves upon whoever 
inherits. The group organization is in villages, and 
these are almost invariably small, usually not more 
than ten or fifteen huts. Chieftainship is conspic- 
uous by its absence, though, as a matter of course, 
age, experience, and prowess wield an influence as 
great as though formally recognized. 

The homogeneity of the Eskimo stock wherever 
found is its most salient feature. Notwithstanding 
the time which must have been consumed in the 

1 Nelson, "The Eskimo about Bering Strait" (Bureau of 
Ethnology, Eighteenth Annual Report, 322). 


geographical dispersion of the race, even dialectic 
differences of speech are not to be compared with 
those which exist within most of the Indian linguistic 
families. An Eskimo from Labrador will within a 
very few weeks be able to communicate freely with 
a representative from Alaska, and the divergence 
is largely a matter of pronunciation and minor 
differences of vocabulary. 1 

Doubtless this cultural independence is very large- 
ly the result of the Eskimo's comparative isolation 
and freedom from contact with Indians. The only 
region where an intermixture of any moment takes 
place is in Alaska, and it is precisely there that the 
variations in custom and physical type appear most 
marked. The Aleutian branch of the Eskimo bor- 
ders on the Tlingit Indian stock, and the mutual ef- 
fect in physical type and in institutions is at once 
evident. A similar contact occurs in the case of the 
Eskimo of eastern Alaska and of the mouth of the 
Mackenzie River and the Athapascan tribes of the 
adjacent interior; and the same interchange of 
culture may be traced without difficulty. 

Passing south from the Aleutian chain along the 
Pacific coast, the Eskimo characteristics grow 
rapidly fewer and soon disappear entirely. For 
purposes of description it is most convenient to 
group together all the coast tribes of Indians from 
Alaska to Vancouver Island. This does not mean 
that marked diversities are not present in the 

1 Brinton, American Race, 64. 


culture of this extensive collection of tribes and 
stocks, but simply that the similarities are far more 
conspicuous than the differences. The leading tribes 
of this area are the Tlingit of Alaska ; the Haida of 
Queen Charlotte Islands; the Tsimshian and Bella 
Coola of British Columbia ; and the Heiltsuk group, 
of which the Kwakiutl of Vancouver Island is pos- 
sibly the most important tribe. 

Even physically these Indians are not homo- 
geneous. Compared with those living east of the 
Rocky Mountains, they are shorter and have lighter 
skins. As was hinted above, in the most northern 
of this group of tribes we find certain superficial 
resemblances to the Eskimo type : the face is very 
broad but short, and the nose is straight or concave 
and is but slightly elevated, which gives the feat- 
ures a Mongoloid cast. The eyes are not, however, 
except in a few cases, noticeably oblique. Among 
the more southerly tribes of the group in the neigh- 
borhood of Vancouver Island the face is very long 
and the nose is high and prominent, which changes 
the entire appearance. 1 

Being, like the Eskimo, essentially a maritime 
people, the arts and industries of the coast Indians 
which are connected with the sea are particularly 
well developed; but with a relatively warm and 
wet climate instead of an arctic environment, the 
line of evolution has been quite different. The 

1 Boas, in British Assoc. Advancement of Science, Twelfth Re- 
port on the Northwestern Tribes of Canada, 1898. 


skin canoe gives place to the wooden "dug-out," 
which is hollowed from a single log, usually of 
cedar, and is found in all sizes from eight to forty 
feet or more in length, the larger canoes being 
thoroughly sea - worthy and capable of making 
long excursions along the coast. Fish-hooks, spears, 
nets, and lines of great variety and efficiency have 
been devised, and among all these tribes the capt- 
ure of salmon, halibut, and eulachon or candle-fish 
is the chief employment of the men. Agriculture 
is practically unknown, but vegetable food is rep- 
resented by berries and roots, which are gathered 
by the women and are found in great abundance on 
the luxuriant slopes of the main-land and the ad- 
jacent islands. 

With the excessive rain-fall of the region some 
permanent and effective type of dwelling became 
a necessity, and the result is a huge, square type of 
house built of roughhewn cedar planks and roofed 
in with bark. Houses of this character, forty and 
fifty feet square, are not uncommon, and some of 
the earlier explorers report them of much greater 
size. The interiors are divided into rooms or com- 
partments, each for a separate family. 

A noticeable feature of these coast villages is the 
totem poles, which are carved from the trunks of 
trees and are really heraldic columns. They are 
placed in front of the houses of chiefs, and record 
in sculpture the tradition of the owner's family or 
clan. Among the southern tribes of the group 


totemic designs of a similar nature are painted on 
the sides and roofs of the houses. 

From the point of view of culture, however, the 
most important characteristic of these Indians is 
their system of social organization, which is close 
and strictly guarded. In the north the tribes are 
divided into clans, each of which has its animal 
totem, and the clan relationship is traced through 
the mother. 1 The clans are further gathered into 
phratries, or groups, which are probably subdivisions 
of what were formerly single clans, and within these 
phratries marriage is forbidden. The system is 
most rigid in the northern tribes, but shows signs 
of weakening in the southern peoples. For instance, 
a new-born child whose father's clan has become 
weak in numbers may under certain circumstances 
and with appropriate ceremonial be entered as a 
member of the paternal clan when he would nor- 
mally belong to that of his mother. 

Among the Kwakiutl of Vancouver Island we 
find an interesting case of a people originally or- 
ganized on a system reckoning descent through the 
father, who have come under the influence of ma- 
ternal institutions, and adopted them in a way 
directly contrary to what is classically considered 
the usual course of development of the family and 
society. 2 This state of things, if correctly inter- 
preted, has a most important bearing on the general 

1 See below, chap. xiii. 

1 Boas, Social Organization of the Kwakiutl Indians, 334. 


theory of the evolution of the family. In this tribe, 
clan and family crests, names, and privileges are an 
inheritance, and are held by a man either in his own 
right, derived directly from his father, or in trust 
for his children, and derived from his father-in-law 
through his wife. There are thus two sets of in- 
heritances existing side by side, and the complexity 
of the social organization in a tribe diminishing in 
numbers like the Kwakiutl is too baffling to unravel. 
An economic development among these tribes 
which is of great interest and to which insufficient 
attention has been paid hitherto is the so-called 
"potlatch." 1 This is at first glance a ceremonial 
giving away of property, and as such has been 
misunderstood and actively combated by mission- 
aries and government agents on the ground that 
it pauperized the natives. It is in reality an 
elaborate and beneficial system of credit. In any 
undertaking the Indian calls upon his friends for 
help in the shape of loans. These are always repaid 
with interest at a later date, and, owing to lack of 
a system of writing, such payments or repayments 
are always made publicly, to give security to the 
transaction. This public negotiation, which is con- 
ducted with elaborate ceremonial and feasting, is the 
potlatch. The unit of value is the blanket, valued 
at fifty cents, and as the amount of property owned 
in every tribe greatly exceeds the number of blankets 
actually in existence there, a set of economic con- 

1 Boas, Social Organization of the Kwakiutl Indians, 341. 

VOL. II. — 8 


ditions based on credit has grown up which is quite 
analogous to those present in any civilized com- 
munity. The Indian of this region has as his main 
object in life the acquisition of property, and conse- 
quent social position for himself and his children. 
This involves the prompt payment of debts and the 
amassing of wealth, and the result of his efforts is 
the system just outlined. As an example of the 
independent growth of an elaborate financial system 
in a rude community, it stands almost, if not quite, 

Strict social orders of chiefs, common people, and 
slaves also exist among these tribes, though in late 
years slavery has largely disappeared under the in- 
fluence of whites. Wealth is the great means of 
attaining rank, and this is the explanation of the 
passion with which the northwest native seeks to 
obtain property. 

The religion of these peoples is animistic and 
closely tied up with their totemic beliefs. Any in- 
dividual may, if fortunate, obtain by proper fast- 
ing and training a supernatural helper, who will be 
one of the innumerable spirits supposed to exist in 
the world. By the aid of this helper the individual 
becomes a successful hunter or warrior or craftsman 
or seer, and the best shaman or medicine-man is the 
one who has the most powerful spirit at his com- 
mand. This system of obtaining supernatural aid 
is more fully developed in the interior than on the 
coast, and, as will be brought out later, is a funda- 


mental characteristic of Indian religious beliefs and 

Among the Kwakiutl, the clans are believed to 
have been founded by ancestors who had certain 
relations with supernatural beings and obtained 
from them the crests, names, dances, and songs. 
These are the privileges which are handed down 
from generation to generation and are jealously- 
guarded as a family's most precious possession. 
Every year the spirits are supposed to visit the 
people and animate them, and it is during the times 
of their visits that the elaborate ceremonials which 
have often been described are conducted. It is 
impossible to disentangle the social and religious 
features of these systems, and the close relationship 
between the two is seen nowhere more clearly than 
in these tribes of the coast. 

The chief figure in the mythology 1 of the region 
is the raven, who is the great benefactor of man. 
It is he who procures fire, daylight, and fresh water, 
regulates the phenomena of nature, and teaches men 
the arts. He is also a trickster, after the manner 
of the culture heroes of all American tribes. In 
certain places the mink assumes the leading role; 
and on the coast of Washington the same adventures 
that are told of the raven farther north are assigned 
to the blue jay. 

Another distinctive feature of the culture of 
the northwest coast is the art. It is peculiar in 

1 Boas, Indianische Sagen, etc, 


that the process of conventionalization of decorative 
patterns has not led, except in the case of Tlingit 
basketry, 1 to geometric designs, but to curiously 
conventionalized animal motives. The well-known 
totem poles and the carving and painting of house- 
posts, boxes, dishes, spoons, and implements of all 
sorts are examples of the process. The aim seems 
to be to portray as much of the pattern animal as 
possible; and in the adaptation of the design to 
surfaces of all shapes there has arisen a mode of 
conventional dissection and elimination of parts 
which is unique among primitive peoples. 2 

From Vancouver Island south to the Columbia 
River is a group of tribes of which the Nootka of the 
Wakashan family and numerous Salishan peoples 
about Puget Sound are the most conspicuous. They 
form a sort of transition in type between people of 
the north Pacific coast and the tribes of California, 
and do not demand extended description. The im- 
portant factors to note are the rapid breaking-up 
of the close clan organization of society, the dis- 
appearance of the peculiar art mentioned above, 
the further development of certain industries, nota- 
bly whaling, and the modification of the religious 
ceremonials and mythology by southern influence. 

1 Emmons, " Basketry of the Tlingit" (Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., 
Memoirs, III., 263). 

1 Boas, " Decorative Art of the Indians of the North Pacific 
Coast" (Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., Bulletins, IX.). 




PASSING up the Yukon River in Alaska, or the 
Mackenzie in British Columbia, or crossing the 
Coast Range in British Columbia, the widely dis- 
tributed Athapascan family is encountered. This 
stock is often referred to as Tinne or Dene, which is 
their own name for themselves wherever found, and 
signifies, as usual, "men" or "people." On the 
north the Athapascans come into contact with the 
Eskimo, on the south and east with the Algonquian 
tribes, and on the west with the Pacific peoples. Ex- 
tensions of the stock south and west are numerous, 
small tribes who speak unmistakable Athapascan 
dialects appearing in Washington, Oregon, and Cal- 
ifornia; while the important Navajo and Apache 
in New Mexico and Arizona form a branch of the 
family even more important numerically than that 
of British America. 

The tribes which stretch across the north of the 
continent from the Coast Range to Hudson Bay 
occupy a bleak and barren territory and have never 



advanced far on the road to civilization. They 
are also cut up into a large number of tribes and 
bands, which speak mutually unintelligible dialects, 
but their manner of life as well as their physical 
features remain fairly uniform. The most im- 
portant tribes of the northern branch are the 
Kutchin, Nahane, Slave, Taculli or Carriers, Chil- 
cotin, Yellow Knives, Hare, Dogrib, Chippewyan, 
and Sarcee. On the Pacific slope various small 
tribes in southern Oregon and the Hupa of Califor- 
nia may be noted, while the Navajo and Apache, al- 
ready mentioned, represent the southern extension 
of the stock. 

The same general culture stretches south from 
the northern Athapascan territory over the high 
plateaus between the Rockies and the Coast Range, 
through interior British Columbia, where it includes 
several inland Salishan peoples, notably the Shuswap 
and Thompson. Still farther south the Kootenay 
appear; and the important Shahaptian family, of 
which the Nez Perce and the Yakima are probably 
the best-known tribes, occupying a large part of 
eastern Washington, Idaho, and Oregon, must also 
be included. The Shahaptian stock is in intimate 
relation on the south with the great Shoshonean 
people. This latter family has an extensive dis- 
tribution over Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Col- 
orado, southern California, New Mexico, and Texas. 
The northern Shoshone must be regarded as be- 
longing to the plateau type of British Columbia 


and the Shahaptian area. In all its branches the 
Shoshonean family exhibits transitions to or mixt- 
ures with surrounding culture. Its most important 
tribes are the Ute, Shoshone, and Comanche, with 
their constituent bands. 

The distinguishing features of the culture of the 
area we are discussing are the following : extreme loose- 
ness of social organization, which stands in sharpest 
contrast with the close systems of the coast; lack 
of elaborate ceremonials ; a complete change in the 
character of the art ; and possibly, also, the develop- 
ment of a mythology which, while not very dif- 
ferent from that of the tribes to the east, bears 
little resemblance to that of the northwest coast, 
except in places where intimate affiliation has modi- 
fied the normal type. 

In general the clan system disappears entirely on 
the plateaus, and even tribal organization can hardly 
be said to exist. Independent local bands, under 
leadership determined by circumstances or indi- 
vidual capacity, are the rule. These bands would 
often affiliate for purposes of war or other ends, and 
since common dialects and customs would deter- 
mine the lines of the unions, tribal limits would tend 
to appear. Local interests, however, often proved 
stronger than tribal bonds, as was shown clearly 
in the dealings with the whites during the settle- 
ment of Oregon and later. The Nez Perce war of 
1876 is a good example, when a few bands under 
Joseph conducted an active campaign, while the 


majority of the tribe held entirely aloof or even 
sympathized with the United States, yet were not 
regarded as in any sense renegade to tribal obliga- 

Little is known of the social organization of 
the northern Athapascans, but there is probably no 
clan system in operation, except in the case of the 
Carriers and possibly a few other tribes, where its 
nature pretty definitely proves its derivation from 
the Indians of the coast. 1 In general the two 
units are the immediate family and the local village 
group, but the latter is often unstable in character. 

The complex and elaborate religious ceremonials 
of the coast tribes are replaced by comparatively 
simple shamanistic practices. Prayers and obser- 
vances are all directed towards mysterious, spir- 
itual powers which are believed to pervade every 
phase of nature. The main object of every boy 
or girl is to obtain one of these spirits as his super- 
natural helper, who will then remain his guardian 
through life and to whom is given the credit for any 
success he may achieve. To acquire one of these 
guardian spirits is the object of the puberty cere- 
monials, which are particularly well developed in 
this group. As puberty approaches, the boy goes 
away by himself to an isolated spot, the peak of a 
mountain or a desert place, and there passes days 
or weeks in fasting and violent physical exercise 

1 Farrand, "The Chilcotin," in British Assoc. Advancement of 
Science, Twelfth Report on the Northwestern Tribes of Canada, 18. 


combined with certain fixed symbolic rites. During 
the exhaustion thus produced, or in answer to the 
nervous expectancy under which he lives, vivid 
dreams or hallucinatory waking visions appear, and 
in these is revealed to him the being who will act 
as his helper n the future. 

In order to become a recognized shaman of the 
professional class, a much longer period of "train- 
ing" is necessary. Sometimes years are spent in the 
acquisition of the necessary wisdom and powers. 1 
These customs will be noticed again in the general 
discussion of Indian religious beliefs, but should 
be emphasized here as forming the central interest 
in the life of the people of this region. In certain 
of the tribes, as the Kootenay, 2 an annual ceremonial 
is held which seems to be a sort of worship of the 
sun, and connected with the idea of the possible 
return of the dead from the other world. 

The art of the plateaus is characterized by the 
absence of the plastic forms which are so striking 
on the coast. Among many of these interior tribes 
carving is practically unknown. Decoration, there- 
fore, consists largely in painted or woven designs, 
which were undoubtedly originally attempts at 
pictorial representations, but which have become, 
through difficulties of execution, conventional in 

1 Teit, "The Thompson Indians of British Columbia" (Am. 
Mus. Nat. Hist., Memoirs, II., 254 ff.). 

1 Cf. Chamberlain, in British Assoc. Advancement of Science, 
Eighth Report on Northwestern Tribes of Canada. 


form, but still, among most tribes, strictly symbolic. 
This characteristic is shown most clearly in the 
basketry ' and in the painting of raw-hide receptacles 
of various kinds. 

The mythology almost always refers to the deeds 
of a "transformer," or " transformers,' ' who visited 
the world when it was in an incomplete state and 
straightened things out. He rid the country of 
monsters which infested it, changed and fixed the 
landmarks, taught the people the arts, and con- 
ferred upon them many benefits. After his work 
was done he disappeared, but is expected to return 
again when his people have most need of him. 

This "transformer" is usually personified not as 
a venerable person, but as a coyote or one of the 
other animals, or some purely mythological being; 
he tricks and is tricked, indulges in the loosest 
amours, and is often vain, boastful, and petty in 
character; but is nevertheless the great benefactor 
and hero of the people. 2 

Of the industrial life of these tribes it is diffi- 
cult to speak in general terms. They are all by 
necessity hunting and fishing peoples, but the con- 
trast between the forests of the north and the arid 
region of the southern plateaus produces marked 
differences in the arts. 

1 Farrand, "Basketry Designs of the Salish Indians" (Am. 
Mus. Nat. Hist., Memoirs, II., pt. v.). 

2 Boas, in introduction to Teit, Traditions of the Thompson 


The northern Athapascans are among the most 
primitive of all American stocks. They make a 
rude pottery and weave the hair of the mountain 
goat. Agriculture is unknown, and their livelihood 
is precarious and difficult. The advent of the 
Hudson Bay Company has affected the life of this 
group to a great extent, and much of their native 
manufacture has now given place to articles ob- 
tained from the posts in return for furs. 

The Salishan tribes of British Columbia are some- 
what more advanced. The former houses of these 
Indians were underground lodges covered in with 
roofs of beams, mats, and dirt. The excavation 
was three or four feet deep and eighteen to thirty 
feet in diameter; and from the edges four beams 
were inclined towards the centre, supported by 
posts and covered by cross -poles, woven mats, 
brush, and dirt. A hole was left at the apex, which 
served as the door and in which a ladder stood. 
The larger houses would be occupied by several 
families. These underground lodges were used only 
in winter, and in summer the people lived in tents 
of bark or mats woven of rushes. The household 
utensils were usually of basketry or bark. 1 Of late 
years these Indians, who are much in contact with 
whites, have given up most of their old industries, 
live in log huts, and have adopted the clothing and 
utensils of civilization. 

1 Teit, "The Thompson Indians of British Columbia" (Am. 
Mus. Nat. Hist., Memoirs, II., 192 ff.). 


The Shahaptian and Shoshonean tribes of the 
more southerly plateaus were primarily hunting 
peoples, but the attraction of the salmon fisheries 
of the Columbia River seems to have very distinctly 
modified their habits of life. In general their ex- 
istence was much like that of the Salishan tribes 
ust mentioned, till the annual migration to the 
fisheries brought them into contact with Indians 
pushing up from the coast, and many customs were 
acquired in that way. For example, the communal 
houses of the Chinook were found among the Nez 
Perce when first seen by Lewis and Clark. The 
horse had also reached this group at the time of 
the explorers' visit, and the revolution which that 
acquisition would bring about is easy to imagine. 

As has been pointed out, each group of these 
peoples has been influenced by foreign contact : the 
Athapascan by the Eskimo and north coast Indians ; 
the Salishan by the coast tribes extending up the 
Fraser River; and the Shahaptian and Shoshonean 
by the lower Columbia peoples, as well as by the 
plains Indians on the east. There is no part of the 
continent where the migration of culture along nat- 
ural paths of communication can be better studied 
than here, where the inhabitants are bordered by two 
diametrically opposed types, that of the coast and 
that of the plains. 

Physically these stocks are strongly differentiated 
from the coast types and not so strongly from those 
of the plains. In stature the inland people are tall, 


well built, and muscular. The chief facial feature 
to be noted is the nose, which becomes strongly 
marked, particularly among the Shahaptian and 
Shoshonean tribes. The cheek-bones are wide and 
prominent, the lips are thick, and the lower part of 
the face is broad and heavy. These features ap- 
pear at their best and most typically in the Indians 
of the great plains, though in that region they lack 
the coarseness which is the chief characteristic of 
the Shoshonean and other tribes of the southern 

From their homes on the plateaus the Shahaptian 
and other peoples controlled the upper reaches of the 
Columbia and its tributaries; and, led by the de- 
sirability of salmon as an article of diet, they grad- 
ually pushed down that stream, until their ex- 
tensions were checked by a people from the coast 
of sharply different language and culture, the 
Chinook. 1 The limiting line between these two 
groups was at the falls of the Columbia in the neigh- 
borhood of the present city of The Dalles. On 
account of their intimate relations with the early 
traders on the lower Columbia, the Chinook, though 
now nearly extinct, played a most important role 
in the early settlement and development of Oregon. 
There were two well-marked divisions of the stock, 
the upper and the lower; the former living in the 
interior, but along the banks of the Columbia; 
while the latter had their seat near the mouth of 

1 Boas, Chinook Texts, 


that river, and extended but a short distance north 
and south on either side of its entrance to the sea. 

The general culture of the Chinook was much 
like that of the coast tribes farther north, especially 
in those phases which concerned their industrial life. 
The clan organization had, however, disappeared, 
and the mythology and religion began to take on 
new elements which showed the influence of Cali- 
fornian neighbors. The physical type is still the 
northern, with the heavy, broad face and short, 
thick-set body. The prevalent custom of deforming 
the head of infants by fronto-occipital pressure was 
practised universally by the Chinook, and they 
with their neighbors of Puget Sound may be re- 
garded as the stronghold of the practice. It was 
in vogue as far south as the Yakonan family of 
tribes along the Oregon coast, where an intrusion 
of Athapascan stock occurs and the custom dis- 

The most important legacy of the coast Chinook 
is the Chinook jargon or trade language, which 
sprang up as a medium of intercourse between the 
whites and Indians and is a compound of Chinook 
words with English, French, and Spanish, all 
modified to meet the needs of pronunciation of the 
different peoples using it. It has now spread 
north as far as Alaska, south into California, 
eastward to the peoples beyond the Coast Range, 
and along natural routes of communication, such as 
the Columbia, the Fraser, etc., to points far inland. 


The culture of the upper branch of the Chinook 
was practically that of their cousins of the coast, 
except where the absence of the sea produced a 
modification in their industrial life. Living in 
close contact, too, with the tribes of the plateaus, 
interchange of cultural elements took place between 
the two groups, so that, as already indicated, certain 
Chinook customs can be found among the Shahap- 
tian tribes, and vice versa. 

Early in the nineteenth century the Klikitat tribe 
of the Shahaptian pushed across the Coast Range 
and up the Willamette Valley, driving previous 
occupants ahead of them; but they were unable to 
hold the territory and after a few years retired to 
their former seat north of the Columbia River. The 
Willamette Valley just mentioned is one of the 
most fertile and desirable in the northwest and 
was naturally an objective point of early white 
emigration. It appears to have been occupied by 
a number of tribes of the Kalapooian family who 
were not particularly warlike or vigorous, and who 
yielded to the pressure of the settlers even though 
they had previously been able to retain their fron- 
tiers against the attacks of neighboring Indians. 

Lying south and east of the Willamette Valley, 
with their centre about Klamath Lake, in southern 
Oregon, were two vigorous and warlike tribes, the 
Klamath and the Modoc, the latter of whom be- 
came widely known through the insurrection of 
1869. The two tribes are closely related, forming 


the Lutuamian linguistic family, and are also possibly- 
akin to the Shahaptian. They led a free hunting 
and fishing life and were the terror of the less 
vigorous tribes to the south and west. The 
Modoc, who formed the southern extension of the 
family, made annual raids into northern California 
for the capture of slaves, whom they carried to The 
Dalles and traded with the other tribes who con- 
gregated at that point. They had no clan or- 
ganization and led a life similar to that of their 
Shahaptian neighbors. 

Peculiar developments of the Klamath were their 
characteristic earth-covered lodges and the gather- 
ing of water-lily seeds for food. These plants grow 
in great abundance in Klamath Lake and vicinity, 
and seem to have been a decided factor in determin- 
ing the habitat of this group of Indians. 1 

South of the Chinook and west of the Kalapooian 
tribes there ranged along the sea-coast of Oregon a 
series of small and relatively unimportant linguistic 
stocks, of which the Yakonan 2 about Yaquina Bay 
may be regarded as a type. Though living on and 
near the coast, they seem to have depended more 
upon the rivers and land than upon the sea for their 
food supply. The Yakonan tribes exhibit the 
generally coarse facial formation and undersized 
stature of the northern coast peoples, and are 

1 Gatschet, The Klamath Indians. 

1 Farrand, " The Alsea Indians of Oregon " (American Anthro- 
pologist, N. S., III., 239). 


interesting as marking the southern limit of the 
practice of head deformation in that region. South 
of them tattooing makes its appearance, but it is 
not known among the tribes of Yakonan stock. 

The Yakonan family marks the southern ex- 
tension of the typical northwest coast culture and 
begins to show the influence of Californian contact. 
The character of the mythology shows decided 
changes: the culture hero or " transformer " no 
longer plays the part exhibited by the raven and 
blue jay of the north. Their religious conceptions 
are those most common to the Indian wherever 
found— i. e., wide-spread animism, with the institu- 
tion of shamans, or medicine-men, well developed. 
The individual could acquire the supernatural 
helper or guardian in the usual way by "training" 
and fasting, but there is no evidence that it was 
hereditary in either line. 

The usual social orders of nobility or chiefs, 
common people, and slaves prevailed; and it was 
possible for a man of common origin to raise him- 
self to the rank of chief by reason of extraordinary 
wisdom, power, or wealth. The privileges of rank 
were, however, as a rule, guarded jealously. In 
matters of inheritance no preference was shown for 
either the male or female line, a child being regarded 
as related equally to both father's and mother's 

In northern California and southern Oregon 
occurs one of the puzzling intrusions of the Atha- 

VOL. II. — 


pascan family ; indeed, the present state of California 
is characterized by a hodge - podge of linguistic 
stocks, which a glance at the linguistic map will 
make evident. The physical type of California, if it 
be proper to speak of such, seems to be something 
intermediate between the coarse coast features and 
the finer facial make-up of the southwest. The 
extreme southern part of the state is occupied by 
Shoshonean and Yuman tribes, the former belonging 
to the culture of the western plateau and the latter 
to the southwestern peoples in general. 

Recent researches 1 show that the twenty -one 
linguistic families of California (exclusive of Yuman) 
fall into three groups, on a basis of grammatical 
affinities, and that this classification is corroborated 
to a certain extent by differences of culture in the 
groups in question. 

The northwestern group of five small stocks dif- 
fers from the others in the character of its art, the 
extensive use of canoes, the importance of salmon 
as an article of food, the development of ideas of 
property and their influence, on social conditions, 
and the character of ceremonials, myths, and re- 
ligious conceptions. 

The central group is quite sharply marked off from 
the northwestern in point of culture; and the 
character and quest of the food supply must be re- 
garded as the determinant factor. The tribes of 

1 Dixon and Kroeber, " The Native Languages of California" 
(American Anthropologist, N. S., V., 1 fL). 


this group are universally dependent upon the acorn 
for food, and in its use and treatment have lost 
many of the characteristics which distinguish their 
neighbors. The canoe is noticeable for its absence, 
the myths differ sharply from those of the other 
groups, and we find appearing again certain cere- 
monials and secret societies the origin of which is 

The main tribe of this group, the Maidu, practises 
an annual ceremony known as the "burning," which 
is quite unique in its special development and of 
great interest in the light it throws on religious 
beliefs and conceptions. 1 At a stated time, with 
much preliminary form and ritual, the surviving 
relatives burn property of all sorts for the benefit 
of the dead, the idea being that the articles so de- 
stroyed pass to the spirit world and are there made 
use of by the spirits of the departed. This custom 
is kept up usually for a period of five years after 
the death of any individual, and then ceases, except 
in special cases where the deceased may have been 
a man of great prominence or his survivors persons 
of unusual piety. 

Of the southwestern Californian group so little 
is known that nothing definite can be said regarding 
it. There is, however, a remarkable development of 
the canoe, a return to dependence on fish for food, and 
possibly a special type of art, particularly in carving. 

1 Pixon, MSS. Notes, in library of Am. Mus. Nat. Hist, 



THE striking inequality in the geographical 
distribution of Indian stocks becomes most 
apparent in passing from the Pacific coast territory 
to the great basin of the continent. Practically 
five-sixths of all the linguistic families of North 
America are found along the western slope. The 
immense territory lying east of the Pacific mountain 
ranges is peopled by a few large, strong stocks, 
broken into many tribes and dialects, it is true, but 
with affiliations within the families that are usually 
more or less apparent. Of these stocks the most 
important are the Algonquian, Athapascan, Iro- 
quoian, Muskhogean, Shoshonean, Siouan, and a 
few others of less moment and extent. 

Since the physical features of their habitats pro- 
duced conditions of climate and organic life totally 
different from those of the Pacific slope, differentia- 
tions of culture must appear equally marked. The 
first area which presents a possible unit of homo- 
geneous aboriginal culture is the region of the great 
plains. To its inhabitants various stocks con- 

13 2 


tributed, but chiefly the Siouan, Caddoan or Pawnee, 
Algonquian, and Kiowan in the order named. It 
would be impossible to take up the tribes of this 
area in detail, and the Sioux may serve as a 

In the history of the United States the Sioux 
have been more noticeable than any other aborig- 
ines, with the exception of the Algonquian and Iro- 
quoian tribes. They are often regarded, too, as 
the typical native Americans, physically strong and 
active, hunters and warriors by nature and necessity, 
shifting from place to place, but always free, always 
dominant, always significant. In comparison with 
the Indians of the Pacific coast their facial features 
are more strongly marked, the nose and the lower 
jaw being particularly prominent and heavy. The 
heads are, as a rule, mesocephalic and are not arti- 
ficially deformed. The skin is dark, with a faint 
tinge of reddish. With the pressure of civilization 
and the relatively sedentary life which the Sioux 
have been forced to adopt of late years, their 
bodily vigor is not so striking as it once was; but 
they still remain, with their neighbors of the plains, 
a fine physical type of the American Indian. 

In the distribution of the Siouan family, as a 
glance at the map will show, their main seat at the 
advent of the whites was the region west of the 
Mississippi, from the Saskatchewan in the north to 
the Arkansas in the south, though isolated offshoots 
appear in Virginia and on the Gulf of Mexico. Lin- 


guistic evidence and to a certain extent native 
tradition (Mandan) point to an Appalachian origin 
for the group, and would indicate the eastern 
slopes of that range as their earlier home. From 
here they pushed westward, overrunning the prairies 
and plains until brought to a halt by pressure from 
the western stocks; while a back flow was pre- 
vented by the barrier offered by the Algonquian 
tribes in their rear. 

The one factor which has overshadowed all others 
in its influence on the Sioux habitat, institutions, 
art, and beliefs was the buffalo. Probably the 
pursuit of the bison led westward the eastern tribes, 
and notably the Sioux, and dispersed them over 
the plains. The pre-eminent part which the buffalo 
played in the nutrition and industrial life of these 
peoples accounts, too, for their relatively slight 
development of agriculture. With the arrival of 
the horse, which was probably acquired by the 
prairie tribes towards the end of the eighteenth 
century, 1 the successful pursuit of the bison herds 
was greatly aided; and this gave the final touch to 
their mode of life. 

There is good evidence that the dog had been 
domesticated by the Sioux long before the ap- 
pearance of the horse, and was used for food, draught, 
and ceremonial sacrifice. 2 The chief industries of 
the Sioux and their neighbors were naturally those 

1 McGee, in Bureau of Ethnology, Fifteenth Annual Report, 
173. 2 Zu Wied, Travels, etc. 


of hunting and war. Weapons and implements 
were of stone, wood, bone, horn, and antler. The 
tomahawk, club, flint knife, and bow and arrow 
were the usual weapons, but short spears were also 
fairly common. Household utensils were few and 
crude. Rude pottery and basketry were made, 
but wood and skins furnished the raw material for 
domestic service. 

In addition to the food supply obtained by hunt- 
ing, all the tribes of the plains made use of nuts, 
berries, roots, and other plants which were to be 
found in a wild state, but which were also cultivated 
after a fashion, whenever the residence was stable 
enough to permit it. Agriculture did not, however, 
flourish to any great extent except among the 

The houses of the Sioux varied with the habitat 
and the season. In the woodlands they built tent- 
shaped lodges of saplings covered with brush, bark, 
or skins. On the plains and prairies earth lodges 
were constructed for winter, and tipis covered with 
buffalo skins for the summer season. The tipi, 
which is one of the typical forms of Indian dwellings, 
is essentially a portable affair, and thus differs from 
the wigwam of the east, which was fixed. It is 
constructed of long poles tied together near the 
smaller ends, with the bases spread out in a circle 
ten or fifteen feet in diameter. It is then covered 
with a skin or canvas wrapping, laced or pinned 
together along the middle of the junction. The 


upper part of this tent is left open to act as a smoke 
vent and to create a draught for the fire, which is 
built in the centre of the structure; the lower part 
is left separated as a door and is covered with a 
skin flap. The bottom of the entire covering is 
fastened to the ground with pins or weighted with 
stones. Among certain of the Siouan tribes these 
tipis were elaborately decorated with symbolic 
designs. The structure and local arrangement of 
the lodges of the Siouan stock were generally de- 
termined in certain features by religious considera- 
tions and ritual as well as by the clan relationship 
of the owners. 1 

The Mandan tribe of this family, who seem to 
have developed along special lines, built rather an 
elaborate structure, circular in outline and as much 
as forty to sixty feet in diameter. The frame-work 
was of stout posts and beams, the roof was conical, 
and the whole covered in with mats, grass, and hard- 
packed earth. 2 The interior was divided into tri- 
angular compartments, each of which was assigned 
to a family and separated from the others by 
partitions of decorated mats and skins. Villages 
of such structures were surrounded by a stockade 
of posts and were practically impregnable to the 
methods of Indian warfare. 

Essentiallv land - dwellers, the Sioux and their 

1 Dorsey, "Siouan Cults" (Bureau of Ethnology, Eleventh 
Annual Report). 

2 Catlin, Letters and Notes, II., 81. 


neighbors made little use of canoes; but a form 
of coracle constructed of skins by the Dakota women 
was noticed at an early date by white visitors, and 
together with certain vague linguistic suggestions 
gave rise to the absurd theory that the Sioux were 
of Welsh extraction, 1 an idea on a par with another 
popular vagary that the Indians are the descend- 
ants of the lost tribes of Israel. 2 

The art of the Sioux was exhibited at its best 
in the calendars and records which the men were 
given to drawing and painting upon prepared buf- 
falo skins, and also in the carving of the soft red 
catlinite which was obtained in the Sioux territory 
and widely used for pipes and especially for the 
ceremonial calumets. In these pipes symbolism was 
developed to a high degree, but the significance was 
greatest in the decoration of the stem, which was 
often many feet in length, and descended from 
father to son or was transferred to a successor with 
much elaborate ceremonial. The smoking of these 
pipes was an indispensable part of any formal 
function and particularly in any intertribal trans- 

Great care was also given by other plains tribes 
to the decoration of the raw-hide "parfleches," or 
packing-cases, and the study of the designs in use for 
their embellishment has recently thrown much light 
on certain problems connected with the develop- 

1 Catlin, Letters and Notes, II., App. A. 

2 Adair, History of the American Indians. 


merit of primitive art. 1 Almost always symbolic, 
it has been found that these patterns and types of 
patterns are widely distributed, but that the in- 
terpretation differs, and differs sharply; and that 
while designs are readily adopted from foreign 
soil, the natives in all cases read a meaning into 

The religious conceptions were based upon a 
belief in "Wakanda" or " Manitou"— or "mystery," 
as it is best translated — an all-pervading spiritual 
entity, differentiated in an indefinite number of 
individual forms, in the cult of which the various 
religious and shamanistic ceremonials developed. 
These ceremonials are particularly elaborate among 
Siouan tribes, and consisted of dancing and chant- 
ing, feasting and fasting, and in tests of physical 
endurance which sometimes reached degrees of 
bodily torture, as in the often - described "sun- 
dance,'' which have called forth ill-advised inter- 
ference by the government authorities. 

In the mythology of the group the sun is a 
prominent element, and in addition there are in- 
numerable tales of mythical monsters, usually with 
animal or bird characteristics, and the atmosphere 
of the whole is tinged by the hunting and military 
habits of the tribes. The most distinctive of the 
ceremonials of the entire region is the sun-dance 
just mentioned. It is found under one name or 

1 Kroeber, " Decorative Symbolism of the Arapaho "{American 
Anthropologist, N. S., III., 308). 


another among practically all of the stocks and 
tribes of the plains except the Comanche. It is 
an elaborate annual ceremonial in which the sun 
is invoked, but chiefly thanked for favors bestowed 
upon his devotees. It is participated in by prac- 
tically all the adult members of the tribe, is managed 
by the recognized shamans or medicine - men, and 
the leading parts are taken by the secret societies 
of a military character which are found in nearly 
all the tribes. While it is thus a general tribal 
ceremony, it is always prepared and given by some 
individual in fulfilment of a vow. 

A ceremonial lodge of saplings is erected, and on 
the centre pole a sacred bundle containing symbolic 
shamanistic charms is suspended. The dancers 
form a semicircle, and with their eyes fixed on the 
sacred bundle keep up a constant shrill whistling 
through eagle bones held in the teeth, accompanied 
by characteristic movements of the arms and 
bodies. The participants are naked and painted 
with symbolic designs, which are frequently changed 
during the ceremony. The dance lasts four days 
as a rule, and among certain tribes, notably the 
Mandan, the later stages were marked by the 
physical tortures noticed above. The flesh of the 
breast and shoulders was pierced by wooden skewers 
to which thongs were attached and upon which 
the dancer threw his weight until he tore himself 
loose. The dance is accompanied by singing and 
drumming, and throughout the performance there 


are many addresses, initiations, and other less for- 
mal functions of a purely social character. 

The social organization of the Sioux 1 is charac- 
terized by kinship groups, with inheritance, as a 
rule, in the male line. Traces of female descent are, 
however, met, and in the lodge the woman was to a 
certain extent autocratic . Marriage was arranged by 
the parents, and polygamy was common where the 
man was capable of supporting more than one wife. 
Exogamy with respect to the clan was strictly en- 
forced, but marriage within the tribe or between 
related tribes was encouraged. There can be no 
doubt that the marriage relations between tribes 
of Siouan stock did much to strengthen the feel- 
ing of unity which marked certain confederations 
among them. 

The regulations with regard to property were 
fairly complex. The ownership of land was vested 
in the group which occupied it. Food was shared 
in common, with certain privileges reserved for the 
individual who had procured it. Lodges, dogs, 
weapons, etc., belonged to the individual, and strict- 
ly personal property was usually destroyed at the 
death of the owner. It has been held by some 
that the purpose of this destruction was to avoid 
future disputes as to ownership; 2 but while this 

1 Dorsey, "Siouan Sociology" (Bureau of Ethnology, Fif- 
teenth Annual Report). 

2 McGee, in Bureau of Ethnology, Fifteenth Annual Report, 


may have been a factor, there can be little doubt 
that the custom arose here, as in other regions, in 
the desire to provide for the deceased in the next 

The government of the Siouan tribes, such as it 
was, consisted in a leadership of chiefs, who attained 
their position by personal prowess, and who, as is 
the rule among primitive peoples, were pre-eminent 
mainly in times of particular emergency. This 
chieftainship does not appear to have been heredi- 
tary except in so far as the requisite qualities might 
tend to appear in the same families. Elder men 
of recognized sagacity and experience also exercised 
great influence in times of peace, but were hardly on 
the same plane with the military leaders. 

The main families of the great plains, other than 
the Siouan, were the Caddoan or Pawnee and the 
Kiowan. The former was scattered in groups from 
the Gulf of Mexico to what is now the state of 
North Dakota. The Pawnee tribes were probably 
of southern origin and migrated northward, coming 
into contact and struggle with the Siouan peoples 
as they advanced. Physically and culturally they 
are not very sharply differentiated from the Sioux 
except in a few phases. Like the Sioux, the Paw- 
nees were of strong physique but with a somewhat 
finer cast of features. The lips were thinner and the 
lower part of the face more delicately chiselled. 1 
They were divided into kinship groups, distinguished 

1 Brinton, American Race, 95. 


by totems, and the inheritance was apparently in the 
male line. The tribes of the stock were divided into 
bands, more or less independent, and chieftainship 
in the bands was much more developed than among 
the Sioux. The office was hereditary in the male 
line, and the chief's power much more absolute 
than was usual among the Indians. 

Agriculture was more commonly practised than 
among other peoples of the plains, and fields were 
regularly planted and cultivated by individual 
families: maize, pumpkins, and squashes were the 
leading products. During the months of the year 
when the tribes occupied fixed residences they 
built a characteristic form of house, which is still 
known as the Pawnee type, though not entirely 
confined to that stock. A circular frame-work of 
poles or logs was covered in by brush, bark, and 
earth, affording a thorough protection and a home 
permanent enough for their needs. When on the 
move, as in the buffalo-hunt, they used lodges of 
skins arranged over a frame-work of poles. Crude 
pottery of a rough type was manufactured by the 
women, and in general the domestic utensils were 

The Pawnee religious ceremonials, while of much 
the same general character as those in use among 
the Sioux, are more elaborate and occupy a far 
greater portion of the people's time and attention. 
The most distinguishing feature of the Pawnee 
religious rites was formerly the human sacrifices 


offered to the morning star on the occasion of the 
annual corn-planting, the victim being usually a 
captive girl from some hostile tribe. The custom 
persisted until very recently and was broken up with 
great difficulty. 

The Kiowa roamed farther to the west and were 
always nomadic. They were close neighbors of the 
Shoshonean tribes, and they may prove to be lin- 
guistically affiliated with that stock, though the evi- 
dence is regarded as favoring their independence. 
The main physical distinction is a rather light skin 
color. They were always noted marauders, and 
seem to have lived mainly by hunting and by 
depredations on neighboring tribes. In their inter- 
course with the whites they were consistently hos- 
tile and unruly. 

The Kiowa lodges were light tipis of skin which 
could be quickly struck and moved by means of 
horses, which they owned in great numbers. Their 
religion is very similar to that of the plains Ind- 
ians already described, the sun-dance extending its 
sway over them as well as the others. The clan or- 
ganization is not found among the Kiowa, but the 
tribe is divided into six bands, all well recognized 
and defined. 

Among the plains people are several Algonquian 
and Shoshonean tribes who have adapted them- 
selves to the region. In northern Montana and on 
the Canadian side of the boundary in the foot-hills 
of the Rockies live the Blackfoot, an Algonquian 


people, divided into two groups, the Blood and the 
Piegan, who have joined to themselves an Atha- 
pascan tribe of the north, the Sarcee, and formed 
a close confederation. Their culture is much the 
same as that of the Siouan tribes who border them 
on the south, but also contains certain elements 
which may be either a reminiscence of their former 
home in the east or the result of more recent 
contact with the Ojibwa and other Algonquian 

The Arapaho and Cheyenne are also Algonquian 
tribes who became cut off from the bulk of their 
family in the early western migration and have 
become true representatives of the plains. They 
are chiefly distinguished by certain peculiar social 
developments, particularly among the Cheyenne. 

On the southern plains the Comanche of Sho- 
shonean lineage have for over a century been closely 
associated with the Kiowa, and being like them of 
a roving and turbulent disposition, formerly ex- 
tended their depredations as far south as Mexico. 
Physically the Comanche retain something of the 
heavy-featured face of the true Shoshone and are 
in general of a rather low type of culture. They are 
singularly deficient, for a tribe of the plains, in 
religious ceremonials ; and their social system is loose 
and disorganized, as might be expected from their 
plateau inheritance. 

vSeveral common features, not already discussed, 
are characteristic of these groups of the west. In 


most of them have sprang up societies or organiza- 
tions of a military and religious character which 
are often secret, require formal initiation, and play 
a most important part particularly in the cere- 
monial life of the tribes. In many of them there 
are regular degrees through which a member passes 
after fulfilling the necessary requirements, in much 
the same way as obtains in similar orders among 
civilized peoples. It is quite possible that this 
institution and the rather elaborate religious cere- 
monials which have been spoken of may not be of 
indigenous growth but are a degenerate extension 
from Mexico and the southwest. 

Another interesting achievement of the plains 
Indians is the so-called "sign language." 1 The un- 
stable character of their residences and the fre- 
quency with which they came into contact with 
groups speaking unintelligible dialects made some 
common means of communication necessary, and 
the result was a combination of gesture and grimace 
of remarkable efficiency. It became developed to 
an extraordinary degree, and while doubtless in its 
origin it was largely descriptive, with the meaning 
evident in the sign, it became through generations 
of use conventional to such a degree that no one un- 
acquainted with it could understand more than a 
fraction of the gestures current over the enormous 
territory in which it was used. 

1 Mallery, Introduction to Study of Sign Language among 
North American Indians; Collection of Gesture Signs, etc. 
vol. n. — 10 


Notwithstanding the fact that the region occupied 
by these Indians of the plains had been visited as 
early as 1541 by De Soto and Coronado, but little 
was known of them until the early part of the 
nineteenth century. A certain amount of trade 
had been carried on with the southern tribes from 
the French settlements on the lower Mississippi, and 
the Sioux and other northern groups had been vis- 
ited by French traders shortly after the discovery 
of that great waterway. It was not, however, until 
after the Louisiana Purchase that the whites entered 
the region in any numbers. Following that transac- 
tion the first to come were the fur -traders, and 
within a few years numerous posts were founded 
and regular routes of travel established to the 
mountains beyond the plains. The Indians were not 
averse to trade, and usually welcomed the traders 
because of the opportunity afforded to obtain 
hitherto unheard of luxuries. No great difficulties 
arose at first, though there were some losses, both 
of property and lives, through hostile bands, or be- 
cause of rash or unjust acts on the part of the whites. 

As the immigrants began to pour into and through 
the country matters became more serious. The 
opportunity thus offered to the Indians to revenge 
injuries, fancied or real, and to acquire great wealth 
without much danger to themselves, was often 
too tempting to be resisted by the hot-headed 
younger element, even when opposed by the sager 
counsels of the old men; and even the older Indians 


soon saw that the endless procession of on-coming 
whites foreboded no good for the future of their own 

The different tribes varied much in the degree 
of hostility. The Pawnee, though much dreaded 
by the early traders, 1 were, as a tribe, never at war 
with the whites, and frequently furnished scouts in 
the various difficulties that arose with other Ind- 
ians. In the south the Comanche were particular- 
ly notorious and a constant source of trouble and 
danger, both to immigrant trains and border settle- 
ments. The Sioux, the largest and most important 
of the plains tribes, were also the cause of some 
of the most serious of the Indian wars. Even as 
early as the War of 181 2 they sided with the British 
against the Americans; but their worst outbreak 
was in 1862, when nearly one thousand settlers were 
killed in Minnesota. For the next six years there 
was almost constant war with the Sioux, Cheyenne, 
Kiowa, and other tribes of the region. The invasion 
of their country after the discovery of gold in the 
Black Hills again led to a serious outbreak in 
187 6- 1877, during which the Custer massacre took 
place. The last serious outbreak, due to dissatis- 
faction at their treatment and the excitement aroused 
by the reported coming of an Indian messiah, 2 was 
in the winter of 1 890-1 891. 

1 Chittenden, American Fur Trade, 869. 

2 Mooney, " The Ghost-Dance Religion " (Bureau of Ethnology, 

Fourteenth Annual Report). 





WITH a few unimportant exceptions, the tribes 
of the northeast were of one or other of 
two linguistic families, the Algonquian and the 
Iroquoian. The former occupied by far the greater 
territory, and in the history of the United States 
played decidedly the more important role. The 
Algonquian stock stretched from the Athapascan 
frontier in British America around the southern 
shore of Hudson Bay, included the interior of 
Labrador, and sweeping south covered the territory 
of the Great Lakes and all the eastern part of 
Canada and the eastern states as far south as 
Tennessee. Its most westerly extension is the 
Blackfoot tribe, which lies along the base of the 
Rocky Mountains at about the forty-ninth parallel, 
and is isolated by a body of Siouan peoples on its 
eastern border. 

The most considerable break in the continuity of 
this Algonquian occupation was made by the strong 
and important Iroquoian tribes who surrounded 



lakes Erie and Ontario, extended down the St. 
Lawrence River on both banks to about the site 
of Quebec, and occupied the greater part of New 
York state and eastern Pennsylvania. A southern 
branch of the Iroquois had its seat in eastern 
Tennessee, northern Georgia, and parts of Virginia 
and the Carolinas. 

In the north the westward limit was reached by 
the Blackfoot described above, who, in their adap- 
tation to the environment of the plains, have as- 
sumed the culture which is typical of that area. 
The general western limit of the Algonquians was 
marked by the Siouan tribes at the Mississippi 
Valley. The southern barrier was formed by the 
Muskhogean family in the gulf states and a number 
of small groups of different affinities along the 
Atlantic seaboard in Virginia, and the Carolinas. 
In its most northerly extension the Algonquian 
family is still checked by the Eskimo, who occupy 
the shore of Labrador and formerly crossed the 
strait of Belle Isle into Newfoundland. A small 
and unimportant stock found in Newfoundland and 
known as the Beothukan is now extinct; little is 
known of them, but such linguistic evidence as can 
be obtained points to their independence. 

In the far north the Cree are the leading tribe 
of the Algonquian family; while to the south and 
west of them stretches the large Ojibwa division, 
broken up into numerous bands, but centring in a 
general way about the Great Lakes. In the east 


the Micmacs of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are 
prominent, while in New England a number of 
tribes of Algonquian lineage, such as the Abnaki, 
Mohegan, Massachusset, Narraganset, Pequot, Wam- 
panoag, and others, occupied the territory to the 
exclusion of all other families. The Mohegan, of 
the lower Hudson, and the Delaware (Lenape), of 
the Delaware Valley, brought the stock to the region 
of Chesapeake Bay. In Virginia were the Powhatan 
and related groups, and in Tennessee the Shawnee 
marked the southern limit of Algonquian occupation. 
A branch of the Shawnee is known to have pushed 
its way as far south as the Savannah River, but 
was later driven north, where it joined the Delaware. 

The main tribes of the central Algonquians besides 
the Ojibwa, mentioned above, were the Sauk and 
Fox, two tribes originally independent but to-day 
practically one; the Illinois, Kickapoo, Menominee, 
Ottawa, Pottawotomi, and numerous others of less 
importance. The Cheyenne and Arapaho, two re- 
lated tribes of the group, forced their way in the 
early migrations as far west as the Black Hills of 
South Dakota, and even into Wyoming and Colorado, 
where, closed in by Siouan and Shoshonean peoples, 
they have remained ever since. 

Physically, the Algonquians are among the best 
of the aborigines, tall and strong, moderately 
dolichocephalic in head type, with the prominent 
nose and projecting malar bones which are re- 
garded as characteristic of the American natives. 


The mouth and lips are not as coarse as in the 
northwest, nor even on the plains, and the general 
facial effect is somewhat finer than in those regions. 
The skin is brown, with a very slight coppery tone. 
The Algonquians were, as a rule, woodland people, 
with the culture, life, and craft which such residence 
brings about; but the wide differences in latitude 
between the seats of the northern and southern 
branches of the eastern Algonquians naturally 
brought about differences in their manner of life, 
Taking the largest tribe of the stock, the Ojibwa. 
as a type of the northern group, we find that they 
paid but little attention to agriculture and were 
essentially a hunting and fishing people, adding to 
the provision thus obtained such wild vegetable 
food as their country afforded. The wild rice was 
and is of such overwhelming importance to the 
Ojibwa that its annual harvest might be considered 
the central interest in their industrial life. 1 They 
also understood how to make sugar from the sap 
of the maple, and had knowledge of many edible 
fruits and seeds. The tendency to organize secret 
societies, which has been noticed in the stocks pre- 
viously discussed, has found its expression among 
the Ojibwa in the Mide society, 2 a religious organiza- 
tion of elaborate rules and ritual which practically 

1 Jenks, " Wild-Rice Gatherers of the Upper Lakes" (Bureau 
of Ethnology, Nineteenth Annual Report) . 

2 Hoffman, " The Midewiwen of the Ojibwa" (Bureau of Eth- 
nology, Seventh Annual Report). 


controls the religious life and ceremonials of the 

As we range south among the Algonquian groups 
the most striking change is the increasing atten- 
tion paid to agriculture. From New England down 
it was generally and quite extensively practised, 
maize, squash, and tobacco being the chief prod- 

The typical dwelling of the eastern Indians was 
a small hut built of saplings set firmly in the ground 
and bent together at the tops, forming a rounded 
frame. Through this were woven split poles and 
flexible branches, and the whole was covered in with 
leaves, reeds, bark, or brush. These were the so- 
called " wigwams,' ' and in the northeastern section 
were usually set in groups ; the villages thus formed 
were sometimes surrounded by a palisade of poles 
driven into the ground. Summer dwellings were 
often nothing more than carelessly made shelters of 

The Algonquians were organized on a totemic 
clan system, with descent, as a rule, in the female 
line. There was a chief of each clan, and commonly 
a tribal chief as well, who was chosen normally 
from one clan, in which the office was hereditary. 
This chief was of rather indefinite authority and 
did not interfere in matters concerning any one 
clan, but was appealed to on questions of general 
or inter-clan interests. In case of war a war-chief 
was selected on account of personal prowess, and 


took precedence over the permanent officers of the 
clans and tribes. 

The religion of this group was, as usual, the belief 
in "manitou," or mystery, individualized in in- 
numerable forms and brought into relation with 
man through various rites and ceremonies of sha- 
manistic character. The general conceptions are 
best brought out in the mythologies of the group, 
which have to do with a great number of "mani- 
tous" of varying powers and character. There is 
always one — e. g. y Manibozho — who plays the leading 
role and is the benefactor and culture hero of the 
tribe. His exploits and adventures are related 
in great detail and form a cycle of myths about 
which the other stories cluster. It was in the 
early misconception of this character and his rep- 
resentatives in the different Algonquian tribes 
that the prevalent erroneous notion of the "Great 
Spirit" of the Indians had its origin. 1 

The Iroquoian tribes which break the continu- 
ity of the Algonquian domain form, in many ways, 
the most interesting group on the continent. In 
general culture they are not to be differentiated 
from the stocks around them, but in political 
development they stand unique. The main seat 
of the family was on the St. Lawrence River and in 
New York state. In the latter area the so-called 
Five Nations — the Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida, 
Cayuga, and Seneca — formed a barrier to Algonquian 

1 See chap, xvi., below. 


movement and influence from the Hudson River to 
the lakes. West of these tribes the Wyandot, or 
Huron, and the Neutral Nation held the country 
between lakes Ontario and Huron; while south of 
Lake Erie lived the tribe from which that lake 
takes its name. In the valley of the Susquehanna 
and south to the Potomac were the Conestoga, or 
Susquehannock, while still farther south on the 
Roanoke River were the Tuscarora. On the Ten- 
nessee River lived the Cherokee, who are now pretty 
definitely proven to be of Iroquoian stock, but will 
be described independently. 

The special achievement of the Iroquois was the 
organization, probably between 1400 and 1450, of 
the famous League of the Iroquois, 1 a confederation 
of the Five Nations just named, for purposes of 
defence and offence. The conception of the league 
is traditionally ascribed to a Hiawatha, who may 
or may not have been an historical personage, who, 
it is said, enlisted the support of a leading chief of 
the Onondaga ; and acting in concert they succeeded 
in successfully carrying out the idea. 2 The salient 
features of the league were that it was a con- 
federacy of the five tribes, each remaining inde- 
pendent in matters of local concern but delegating 
supreme authority in questions of general import 
to a council of sachems elected from the con- 

1 Morgan, League of ilie Iroquois; Ancient Society; Houses 
and House Life, etc. ; Hale, Iroquois Book of Rites; Colden, History 
of tJte Five Nations. 2 Hale, Iroquois Book of Rites, 21. 


stituent tribes. 1 The members of this council were 
limited in number and were equal in rank and 
authority. Fifty sachemships were founded and 
named in perpetuity in certain clans of the several 
tribes, and these tribes retained the right to fill 
vacancies by election or to depose for cause. The 
right to invest a sachem-elect with office was re- 
served by the general council. These sachems of 
the confederacy were sachems also in their several 
tribes, and with the " chiefs " or leading men of these 
tribes formed the tribal council. This tribal council 
had supreme authority over all matters pertaining 
exclusively to the tribe. 

In the council of the confederacy unanimity was 
essential to every act; and since in that body the 
sachems voted by tribes, each tribe had a veto 
power over all the others. The general council 
could be convened by the call of the council of any 
tribe, but it had no power to convene itself. It 
was open to orators of the people for the discus- 
sion of public questions, the decision resting solely 
with the elected sachems. The confederacy had no 
executive or official head, but for great military 
operations two war-chiefs were appointed, who were 
made equal in rank and authority. 

Space will not permit a detailed discussion of the 
various phases of the organization : it was a magnifi- 
cent conception and splendidly carried out. The 

1 For the procedure and details, see Hale, Iroquois Book of 
Riles; Morgan, League of the Iroquois, Ancient Society. 


weak point seems to have been the lack of provision 
for an executive, but this was largely compensated 
for by the power of public opinion in compelling 
obedience to decrees of the council. Whatever 
its inherent weakness, the league was so successful 
that for centuries it enjoyed complete supremacy 
over its neighbors. It was, apparently, not in- 
tended to be limited to the five original tribes, for 
overtures were made to the related Erie, Huron, 
and other tribes to join the league. The only suc- 
cess was in the case of the Tuscarora, who in 17 15 
migrated from their southern home and joined the 
league under certain restrictions, making the group 
the Six Nations. An unimportant branch of the 
family between Lake Ontario and Lake Huron was 
also included at that time. The other divisions of 
the stock were treated as enemies, and many of the 
most savage campaigns of the league were waged 
against the Erie and the Huron. 

This extraordinary scheme of representative gov- 
ernment was made possible by the social system 
which had developed among the Iroquois, and 
which is well expressed in their mode of communal 
living. The tribes of the stock were organized on a 
totemic clan basis, with clan inheritance in the 
mother's line ; exogamy with regard to the clan was 
strictly observed. The dwellings of the Iroquois 1 
were regularly the famous " long houses," which were 
from fifty to one hundred feet long and fifteen to 

1 Morgan, Houses and House Life, 64. 


twenty feet wide. The house was built of a stout 
frame-work of upright poles set in the ground, with 
horizontal supports to strengthen them, and the 
roof was either triangular or rounded. The whole 
was covered in with bark shingles, and a second 
frame-work on the outside held the covering firm. 
The interior was divided into compartments, roughly 
six or eight feet square, ranging along each side of 
the house and opening on a common passageway 
down the centre, in which the fires of the occupants 
were built. Sleeping-bunks were arranged around 
the walls of each chamber. 

Each of these long houses was inhabited by related 
families, which would mean that the mothers and 
children were as a rule of the same clan, while the 
fathers were of other and various clans. As a 
consequence, one clan, that of the women, would 
predominate in the house, and it thus became a 
factor of importance in the general organization. 
Further, the system completely altered the general 
status of women in the group, for over each house 
a matron presided whose authority was almost ab- 
solute in matters of domestic economy, and any 
undesirable male occupant could be summarily ex- 
pelled by the female element. The women also 
had a voice in the councils of the clan and could 
make their influence felt even in the deliberations 
of the general council of the confederacy, although 
they were not permitted to address that body in 


The clan, 1 which was the fundamental unit of 
the Iroquois system, had a definite organization 
and officers. The official head of the clan was the 
4 'sachem," who was strictly a peace officer, and the 
position when vacant was filled by election from 
the members of the clan, which usage, since maternal 
inheritance ruled, prevented a son from succeeding 
his father. There were also "chiefs" of the clan, 
the number depending upon the numbers of the 
clan and upon the fitness of the available candi- 
dates. The function of the chiefs was military, and 
distinct from that of the sachems. The clan had 
always the right to depose its sachems or chiefs for 

Other rights and privileges reserved by the clan 
were: obligations of help, defence, and redress of 
injuries of members; right of inheritance of the 
personal property of deceased members, which 
passed to maternal relatives, and therefore remained 
within the clan limits; the right to bestow names 
upon its members, certain names being confined 
to certain clans; the right to adopt strangers or 
captives, and thus to strengthen the group ; the ob- 
servance of special religious ceremonials ; and, above 
all, the council of the clan, in which all adults, men 
and women, had a voice, and which adjusted all 
affairs affecting the clan as a group. The council 
elected and deposed sachems and chiefs, avenged or 

1 An excellent summary of the functions of the clan is con- 
tained in Morgan, Ancient Society, 62 et seq. 


condoned murders of clansmen, regulated adoption, 
and passed on other tribal affairs. 

The clans were organized into phratries, mutually 
exogamous groups of clans which had no strictly 
governmental functions, and appear chiefly in re- 
ligious ceremonials and games. 

The tribe, 1 which formed the next step in the 
political organization of the Iroquois, was, as always, 
distinguished by a name, a dialect, and territory. 
It further had the privilege of deposing a chief or 
sachem, a right which pertained primarily to the 
clan, but was also vested in the tribe as a pre- 
cautionary measure. The tribal council was com- 
posed of the chiefs and sachems of the clans and 
held ultimate authority over the tribe. It was open 
to address by any member of the tribe, man or 
woman, but the decision with regard to any ques- 
tion remained solely with the official members. 

Military operations could be undertaken by any 
individual or body of men, with or without the 
sanction of the tribe or the confederation; and as 
a matter of fact many of the most destructive 
campaigns of the Iroquois were carried on by war 
parties of small numerical strength. Theoretically, 
every tribe was at war with every outlying tribe 
(including the whites) with which there was not an 
express treaty of peace ; and so long as a given raid 
did not violate treaty obligations it was viewed with 
favor by the rest of the tribe or confederation, 

1 Morgan, Ancient Society, 102 et seq. 


although the perpetrators had no right to demand 
assistance or recognition. 

The close interrelation of the confederacy with 
the social organization of the group gave it more 
than political significance. The essential unit is 
the clan, and the sachems of the general council 
were primarily clan representatives. The commu- 
nal house life served to emphasize and bring into 
constant practical prominence the clan feature, and 
it seems to have been recognized even by the Iro- 
quois themselves as the prototype of their league, 
since they called themselves " People of the Long 
House," a figurative reference to the narrow line of 
confederated bands stretching from the Hudson to 

The formation of the League of the Iroquois en- 
tirely changed the political aspect of affairs over 
a vast territory. The Iroquois tribes, who had been 
driven from their homes on the St. Lawrence and 
were being steadily beaten back by their Algonquian 
enemies, at once stood firm and began to assume the 
defensive. They harried the Indians to the north 
and the south until they were virtual masters of the 
territory from Hudson Bay to North Carolina, and 
east and west they pushed their conquests until 
their borders were free from danger. Their north- 
western extension was checked by the powerful 
Ojibwa at the eastern end of Lake Superior; and 
their own kindred, the Cherokee, were able to stop 
their progress southward. The important role 

VOL. II. — II 


which they played in the early days of European 
colonization is a matter of history. 

Although the Iroquois created the best-known 
confederation, they were far from the only Indian 
confederates. A similar system united the Aztec 
of Mexico when found by the Spaniards, and the 
same fundamental features were seen in the or- 
ganization of many other Indian groups, and will 
be treated in a more general way in a subsequent 
chapter. 1 

1 See below, chap. xiii. 




CENTRING about the valley of the Delaware 
River and occupying southeastern New York, 
eastern Pennsylvania, and practically all of New 
Jersey, were the powerful Delaware or Lenape. 
They formed one of the largest and strongest of 
Algonquian tribes and were able to withstand for 
many years the attacks of the Iroquois, who bordered 
them on the north and west. They were finally 
forced to give way, however, and, leaving their 
original home, took refuge in the valley of the 
Susquehanna and upper Ohio. With the settle- 
ment of Pennsylvania and New Jersey the Delaware 
naturally came into close contact with the whites, 
and it was with this tribe that Penn made his 
famous treaty in 1682. The connection between 
the Delaware and their kindred of the New England 
states was made by the Mohegan, who occupied the 
lower Hudson. Manhattan Island, their farthest 
southern haunt, was never anything more than a 
hunting-ground for Mohegan bands, the nearest 



known permanent villages being on the north side 
of the Harlem River. 

The next powerful aggregation of Algonquian 
stock appears in Virginia and was generally known 
as the Powhatan confederacy. This organization 
controlled nearly all of tide-water Virginia, and in- 
cluded as its chief members the Powhatan, Pamunkey, 
Chickahominy, and Potomac tribes. Its founder 
and leader was Wahunsonacook, or Powhatan, as he 
was usually called from the name of his tribe. Upon 
his death in 161 8 his successor, Opechancanough, 
organized a campaign of extermination against the 
whites, and brought on a conflict which lasted with 
intermissions for about thirty years and resulted 
most disastrously for the Indians — the confederacy 
was completely broken up and some of the con- 
stituent tribes practically annihilated. Curiously 
enough, the Pamunkey still survive as a tribe and 
retain their organization, though nearly if not quite 
all the members are mixed bloods. 1 The informa- 
tion regarding these Indians of Virginia is not very 
complete, but they probably did not differ very 
decidedly in habits from their Algonquian relatives 
farther north. They were agricultural like their 
neighbors, and were organized on a clan system 
with inheritance in the female line. They seem 
to have developed special and elaborate religious 
ceremonials, and it is interesting to note that they 
used the wooden dug-out and not the bark canoe. 

1 Pollard, The Pamunkey Indians of Virginia. 


Another group of important Algonquian peoples 
were the Shawnee, of Kentucky and Tennessee, and 
the Illinois group north of the Ohio. The Shawnee, 
or Shawano, were first described as occupying 
territory in South Carolina, but appear later in the 
valley of the Cumberland, and it is with that region 
that their name is chiefly connected. They were 
organized on a clan basis, with maternal inheritance, 
and also recognized four divisions, the character of 
which is not clear, though certain of them had 
hereditary privileges, such as the right of succession 
to the offices of shaman or priest. Industrially, the 
Shawnee are chiefly remarkable for their manufact- 
ure (from saline springs) of salt, which they used ex- 
tensively for barter with surrounding tribes. The 
Shawnee were always a roving and warlike tribe 
and seem to have been higher than many of their 
neighbors in point of intelligence. They are now 
for the most part incorporated with the Cherokee 
Nation. The leading figure in Shawnee history is 
their great chief, warrior, and organizer, Tecumseh, 
whose part in the Indian outbreaks of 1811 and the 
War of 1 81 2 is well known. 

The Illinois formed a loose confederacy and were 
prominent in the early struggles between the French 
and English, and later, after the close of the Revolu- 
tion, caused much trouble to the United States 
before they were subdued. 

A characteristic of this great family of Indians 
was their skill in picture-writing. While by no 


means so far advanced as the systems in use in 
Mexico and Central America, the Algonquian pic- 
tography had reached a symbolic stage; and the 
records of the Ojibwa and Delaware on birch bark 
and wood are most valuable as exhibiting the process 
of development from picture to alphabetic writing. 1 
Returning to the mountains of the Carolinas, 
Tennessee, northern Georgia, and Alabama, we en- 
counter another great branch of the Iroquoian 
family in the powerful tribe of the Cherokee. Their 
linguistic relationship with the Iroquois of New 
York was not very close, and they were not on 
friendly terms w T ith their cousins of the league and 
hedged them in on the south. From 1540, when they 
first came into notice, until 1838, when they were 
removed to Indian Territory, the Cherokee were 
always a conspicuous element in the history of 
North America. They were probably the largest 
single tribe in the eastern United States, and from 
the ethnological point of view are interesting chiefly 
from the rapidity and success with which they have 
adopted the life and government of civilized nations. 
In 1820 they even went so far as formally to or- 
ganize themselves with a definite constitution, un- 
der the name of the Cherokee Nation ; but various 
troubles with the government of Georgia led to their 
removal, and since that time their tribal indepen- 

1 Hoffman, The Beginnings of Writing; Mallery, "Picture 
Writing of the American Indians" (Bureau of Ethnology, 
Tenth Annual Report). 


dence and government, though kept up in form, 
seem to be gradually losing ground. When visited 
by De Soto they were living in large and permanent 
villages of log houses and practised agriculture ex- 
tensively. 1 

From the Cherokee frontier to the gulf, and be- 
tween the Atlantic and the Mississippi, the country 
was occupied by the Muskhogean or Maskoki family, 
of which the greater portion was included in the 
Creek confederacy, and as such divided honors with 
the Cherokee in early importance. The leading 
tribes of the stock were the Apalache, Chickasaw, 
Choctaw, Creek or Maskoki, and Seminole. Of 
these the Choctaw held the western frontier, on 
the Mississippi; the Chickasaw and Apalache the 
central region, in the present state of Alabama ; while 
the Creek and Seminole occupied the eastern border, 
chiefly in the states of Georgia and Florida. The 
early writers comment on the striking diversity 
in physical type offered by the different branches of 
the family: the Creek were tall and slender, while 
the Chickasaw, their near relatives and neighbors, 
were short, stocky, and heavily built. There seems 
also to have been a considerable difference in cus- 
toms between the eastern and the western mem- 
bers of the stock. 

1 Cf. Royce, " The Cherokee Nation of Indians " (Bureau of 
Ethnology, Fifth Annual Report); Mooney, " Myths of the 
Cherokee" (Bureau of Ethnology, Nineteenth Annual Report); 
f \dair, History of the American Indians, 


The dominant tribe was unquestionably the 
Creek, and we may regard them as the type of the 
stock for purposes of description. 1 They were or- 
ganized on a clan system, with descent in the female 
line, but had a remarkably large number of clans, 
twenty being still in existence and a number of 
others remembered by the people. Several of these 
clans with their constituent families united to form 
a village, where they lived under one chief, or ' ' miko " ; 
and, being independent, such a community in reality 
formed a tribe by itself. The miko was elected for 
life from a certain clan, and was preferably the next 
of kin, on the maternal side, of the miko just de- 
ceased. If the miko became incapacitated from age 
or illness he chose a coadjutor, who was subject 
to the approval of the village council. 

This council, composed of the leading men of the 
group, exercised great power, but mainly by per- 
suasion or moral influence, for the lack of an execu- 
tive is typical of Indian government everywhere and 
has already been noted in the case of the Iroquois. 
At the same time insubordination was infrequent, 
possibly because of the conservatism of the council. 
It seems that among the Creek every man felt 
himself more bound by the action of his own 
particular clan than by that of his village or tribe, 
a state of things which emphasizes the importance 
of the kinship group as the fundamental factor in 
the political organization of these Indians of the east. 

1 Cf. Gatschet, Migration Legend of the Creek Indians. 


The position of the Creek among hostile and 
powerful neighbors naturally fostered a warlike 
spirit and brought into prominence and favor the 
warrior class. As an additional incentive a series 
of war titles had been instituted, and the gaining 
of these by prowess in the field became the over- 
whelming passion of the youthful "brave." To 
become a warrior, every young man had to pass 
through a period of severe training and initiation 
which lasted from four to eight months; and upon 
its completion he was eligible for service in the field 
and possible advancement to the higher titles. Of 
these degrees there were three, " leader," "upper 
leader," and "great warrior," all granted by the 
miko and the councillors of the village in recognition 
of distinguished services on the war-path. There 
was but one "great warrior" in each group, and to 
achieve this office was the height of every young 
brave's ambition. Where several villages united 
in a campaign a head war-chief was appointed for 
the emergency. An intermediate privileged class 
of men ranked between the councillors and the 
common people, their functions being mainly of an 
advisory character, or in connection with the elab- 
orate ceremonials of the tribe. 

The houses which composed the Creek villages 
were arranged in groups or clusters, each group oc- 
cupied by a single clan. In or near the centre of 
the village was the public square, which contained 
the "Great House" and the "Council House" and 


was in addition the playground of the town. The 
great house was in the centre of the square and 
composed of four single-storied buildings facing 
inward and enclosing a court thirty feet square. 
The buildings were sheds constructed of wooden 
frames covered in with roughhewn slabs, and each 
house was divided into three compartments with 
platforms or bunks running around the sides. They 
were all open towards the central court, and each 
building seems to have been assigned to one of the 
classes mentioned above. From the roofs hung 
trophies of various sorts, and in the centre of the 
square a perpetual fire was kept burning by special 
attendants appointed for the purpose. The great 
house was the centre for all meetings of a public 
character, the place for holding the annual "busk," 
presently to be described, as well as for the daily 
dances and amusements. Visiting Indians were also 
entertained in the great house. 

The council house stood on a circular mound 
near one corner of the great house. It was built 
in the shape of a large cone, placed on walls about 
twelve feet high, and was from twenty -five to 
thirty feet in diameter. Here the miko and the 
council met for deliberations of a private or formal 
character, but when not officially in use it was a 
general meeting-place for various purposes. 

The religious and ceremonial life of the Creek con- 
centrated in the annual festival of the puskita, or 
busk, or green - corn dance, as it has come to be 


called in English. In the larger villages it lasted 
eight days and its date depended upon the ripening 
of the maize. The chief features were the cere- 
monial making of new fire by friction in the cen- 
tral square of the great house, the drinking of the 
"black drink" (decoction of Iris versicolor), the 
dances of a symbolic character on successive days, 
and rigid abstinence from food, followed at the end 
of the busk by feasting and dancing of the wildest 
kind. It is usually considered that the ceremo- 
nial was in honor of the sun as the giver of the 
new fruits of the year, the sun being symbolized 
by the fire burning in the court. The new fire ex- 
emplified the new life, physical and moral, which 
was to begin with the new year. The fasting fitted 
the people for this new life, and the conviviality 
at the close expressed the idea that all men are 
brothers. The black drink was the symbol of 
purification and absolution from sin and offences 
of all sorts. 1 

It is always as dangerous as it is enticing to trace 
the symbolism of primitive ceremonials. Whether 
all these motives were present in the Creek mind it is 
impossible to say. One thing is certain, and that 
is that the busk did exert a most salutary effect 
upon the participants. Quarrels and feuds were 
forgotten and never revived, and, except for murder, 
amnesty was declared for all crimes. Houses were 
refurbished, utensils and clothing were made anew, 

1 Gatschet, Migration Legend of tJte Creek Indians, 182. 


and a fresh start was undertaken by all the mem- 
bers of the tribe. 

There is much in the Creek organization that 
suggests the Iroquois, but there are also very 
marked dissimilarities. In the social order of the 
Iroquois the woman held a conspicuous and honor- 
able position; among the Creek, in spite of strict 
maternal inheritance, her individual position was 
subordinate. She was not allowed to participate, 
except in a most modest manner, in the busk, nor 
was she permitted to be present at the councils. 
Her occupations were, in general, the household 
duties assigned to her sex among all Indian tribes. 

The union of these numerous Creek villages or 
tribes for purposes of defence is usually called the 
Creek confederacy, but its structure was extremely 
loose as compared with the systematic working out 
of the Iroquois League. Each village remained 
strictly independent even when war had been de- 
termined upon ; and not only each village but each 
individual was free to go upon the war-path or not 
as he elected. 

An interesting fact regarding the procedure of 
these villages was the authority of the civil council 
in initiating military measures either of aggression 
or defence. The warriors were not members of the 
council, though the great warrior sat as a consulting 
officer. In spite, however, of a decision of the 
council in favor of peace, the great warrior might 
persist in "raising his hatchet" against an offending 


tribe and lead those who chose to follow on the 
war-path ; and the council was powerless to prevent 
him. In general the attitude of the Creek con- 
federacy was strictly defensive, and when any tribe 
undertook an independent offensive campaign it 
was not sustained by the others. There was a 
head chief of the confederacy, but he appears 
to have been simply an advisory and presiding 
officer without any particular position of com- 

The final downfall of the Creek in the east came 
about in the early part of the last century, when, 
after a series of disastrous wars with the United 
States, they were, in 1832, removed to Indian Ter- 
ritory, where they still conduct an independent gov- 
ernment similar to that of the Cherokee. 

A late offshoot of the Creek was the Seminole tribe 
of Florida. Except for certain minor changes in 
their industrial life, brought about by their special 
habitat, what has been said of the Creek would 
apply to them. Their social organization is much 
the same, and the green -corn dance is their chief 
ceremonial and religious expression. They are con- 
spicuous in American history from the war which 
resulted from their refusal to be removed to Indian 
Territory. This struggle lasted from 1835 to 1842, 
and finally resulted in the overthrow of the Semi- 
nole and their departure to Indian Territory, where 
they still reside as one of the "civilized nations." 
A small number remained in Florida and keep up 


their old customs in the Everglades of the southern 
part of the peninsula. 1 

The area occupied by the Seminole in the last 
century was formerly the seat of the now extinct 
Timacua, who may be regarded as the aborigines of 
the Floridan peninsula. They are classed as an 
independent linguistic stock, but their language as 
recorded shows affinities both with the Carib of the 
West Indies and the Muskhogean. 2 

The western branch of the Muskhogean family, 
the Choctaw, were much less warlike and restless 
than the Chickasaw and Creek. They were agricult- 
ural to a high degree, depending little upon hunt- 
ing for subsistence. Ethnologically the two factors 
of distinguishing interest about the Choctaw are 
their custom of flattening the heads of new-born 
infants by fronto - occipital pressure, and certain 
peculiar rites concerning the burial of the dead. 
The body was disinterred a short time after burial 
and the bones stripped of all flesh, after which they 
were preserved with religious care in the "bone 
houses'' which existed in every Village. 3 This latter 
custom was not confined to the Choctaw, but in 
one form or another existed among many of the 
eastern tribes. The neighbors of the Choctaw on 
the east were the Chickasaw, who differed from them 

1 MacCauley, "The Seminole Indians of Florida" (Bureau of 
Ethnology, Fifth Annual Report, 475). 

2 Gatschet, Migration Legend of the Creek Indians, it, 

3 B. Romans, East and West Florida, 86, cited by Gatschet, 
Migration Legend of the Creek Indians. 


very little in language and culture except in the 
matter of warlike proclivities mentioned above. 
Both tribes were organized with clans and traced 
inheritance through the mother; both now reside 
in Indian Territory as civilized tribes. 

On the eastern and western borders of the Musk- 
hogean stock were a few small tribes speaking 
totally distinct languages and of diverse families. 
In North and South Carolina were the Catawba of 
the Siouan family, and to the south of them the 
Yuchi or Uchee, an independent stock for whom 
thus far no affiliations whatever have been traced. 
Their culture was similar to that of the Creek, and 
the surviving remnant in Indian Territory is usually 
classed with that nation. 

On the west as neighbors of the Choctaw were 
the Natchez, Tonika, and Chitimacha, all small 
tribes near the mouth of the Mississippi, but all 
speaking independent tongues. Other small stock 
remnants such as the Adaize, Attacapa, Karankawa, 
and Tonkawa bring us back to the families of the 
southern plains and the peculiar culture of the great 




IN the great arid stretches of the southwest 
appear a considerable number of tribes which 
may be conveniently grouped into two general 
classes according to their manner of living — viz., 
pueblo and non-pueblo peoples. The non-pueblo 
group includes representatives of the Athapascan, 
Piman, Yuman, and Shoshonean stocks. Of these 
the Athapascan are the most numerous and in many 
ways the most interesting and comprise the two 
well - known tribes of the Navajo and Apache. 
How they became separated from their kindred of 
the far north and how they reached their present 
home is one of the puzzles of American ethnology. 1 
The Navajo have an interesting legend describing 
their origin and early history, according to which 
they are not a homogeneous people but a very 
mixed one, containing, in addition to the original 

1 Cf . Boas, "Northern Elements in the Mythology of the 
Navajo " (American Anthropologist, X., 37 1) ; Hodge, "The Early 
Navajo and Apache " (American Anthropologist, VIII., 239) . 



Athapascan element, strains of Zunian and other 
pueblo stocks as well as of Shoshonean and Yuman. 
The physical appearance of the people seems to cor- 
roborate this tradition, for it is impossible to describe 
a purely Navajo type. All varieties of face and figure 
appear, from the tall stature and prominent features 
of the Indians of the plains to the short body and less 
strongly marked lineaments of the pueblo type. 1 

The country occupied by the Navajo lies in 
northern Arizona and southern Utah, with the 
adjacent parts of Colorado and New Mexico; it is 
arid and in large measure desert, and consists 
principally of a lofty table- land, with here and 
there mountain-ranges or volcanic cones, broken in 
places by broad, sandy valleys or deep and rugged 
canons. Above six to seven thousand feet the up- 
lands and mountains are covered with low forests, 
while during the rainy season a rich but ephemeral 
vegetable growth covers the mesas ; but the rainfall 
is too scanty to allow of agriculture, except along 
the few permanent streams. The country is, never- 
theless, fairly well adapted to the raising of sheep 
and goats, of which every family now possesses a 
flock, and these form the chief food supply of the 
Navajo; though as those animals are not native to 
America, these people could not have been shepherds 
for very many centuries. 

The Navajo are now, in comparison with Indians 
generally, a prosperous and wealthy people, but 

1 Matthews, Navaho Legends, 9. 

VOL. II. — 12 


their traditions indicate that they were formerly 
only poor hunters and lived largely upon the seeds 
of wild plants and upon such small animals as they 
trapped. To obtain pasturage for their flocks and 
bands of horses, they are obliged to live in small 
groups and lead a rather nomadic life. This has 
had its effect on their social organization into local 
groups. The lack of a definite or recognized govern- 
ment and authority was reflected in the difficulties 
experienced by the United States in its treaty 
negotiations with the tribe. In a few of the larger 
canons, where there are small streams and patches 
of arable land, permanent settlements exist, seldom 
of more than ten or twelve families ; though such 
places are often the scenes of large gatherings on 
ceremonial occasions. All cultivated or arable land 
is held as private property, and while the rest of 
the country is free to all, the rights of certain 
families or groups to certain localities seem to be 
generally recognized. In earlier times the clan 
organization was more compact, and the country 
was apportioned among the different clans, of 
which there were over forty ; but most, if not all, of 
the names given to these clans are merely the 
designations for certain localities. 1 

The habitations 2 of the Navajo are of two sorts: 
a simple shelter or brush arbor used during the 

'Matthews, Navaho Legends, 31. 

1 Min deleft", "Navaho Houses" (Bureau of Ethnology, Seven- 
teenth Annual Report, II.). 


summer, and a more permanent lodge for the winter 
months. The typical winter dwelling, or "hogan," 
is a conical structure made of stout poles inclining 
inward at an angle of about forty -five degrees and 
covered with bark and earth. A doorway some- 
thing like a dormer-window is constructed on one 
side, and in cold weather is covered with a blanket 
or skin ; and an opening for the escape of smoke is 
left at the top. These houses average about seven 
feet high by fourteen feet in diameter. When long 
poles can be obtained "medicine lodges" are built, 
similar in structure but larger. In other places the 
medicine lodges are constructed on a rude frame with 
walls and roof separate, presenting an appearance 
somewhat like that of the earth lodges of the Mandan. 
The house and all that it contains, aside from 
the husband's weapons and personal possessions, 
belong by common consent to the wife. Neither 
has the husband any claim upon whatever sheep, 
horses, or fields the wife may have acquired by in- 
heritance or purchase. The children belong wholly 
to the mother and to her clan, and she assumes the 
entire direction of the house life. It is the duty of 
the men to do most of the field-work, and most of 
them are active workers, the care of their fields, 
flocks, and herds demanding considerable attention. 
Within recent times many of the Navajo men have 
become expert silversmiths. 1 The women are also 

1 Matthews, "Navajo Silversmiths" (Bureau of Ethnology, 
Second Annual Report) . 


very industrious, spinning, weaving, and knitting, 
taking most of the time they can spare from house- 
hold duties. The Navajo blankets are justly famed 
for their durability, fineness of finish, beauty of 
design, and variety of pattern. The manufacture 
of pottery is on the decline, and most of the baskets 
in use among the Navajo have been obtained from 
other tribes. 

Their mythology is very complex and their relig- 
ious practices and beliefs are difficult to comprehend. 
They have a large number of ceremonies, some of 
which are long and elaborate, and all ostensibly 
for the cure of some sick person, and conducted by 
the shaman or medicine-man. In connection with 
these, very elaborate sand mosaics or paintings, 
depicting mystic emblems and groups of various 
deities, are made of dry sand of different colors, of 
charcoal, and of ochres. A considerable part of the 
rites consists in dancing and the singing of sacred 
songs, which vary for each ceremonial. They have 
in addition, for every important act of their lives, 
from birth to death, songs or poems, as they might 
be called, which may be numbered by the thou- 
sand, handed down from generation to generation. 
These rites and ceremonies, while less elaborate 
than those of the Pueblos, show general resem- 
blance, which suggests the possibility that they are 
borrowed. The differences are marked enough, 
however, to indicate fairly that the Navajos have 
held independent development for a considerable 


period, even though their ceremonies may come from 
the same source as those of their near neighbors. 

The Apache, already mentioned as belonging to 
the Athapascan stock, formerly lived in south- 
eastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico, and 
ranged over the surrounding country. They are 
divided into various groups, including the Mescalero, 
Jicarilla, Lipan (sometimes regarded as separate 
tribes), Coyotero, White Mountain Apache, etc. 
Most of the Apache at present have stock, and raise 
small quantities of corn and melons; but they still 
subsist largely on wild seeds and fruits, as well as 
on grain when they can obtain it. They are skilled 
in the making of baskets and water-bottles, the 
latter coated with pinon gum to make them water- 
tight. They have always been a warlike and pred- 
atory people and still retain much of their original 

Of the Yuman stock there are several tribes in 
western Arizona and southern and Lower California, 
including the Mohave, Maricopa, Seri, Havasupai j 
etc. The picturesque home of the Havasupai lies at 
the bottom of Cataract Canon on a tributary of the 
Colorado. The widening of the canon leaves a 
narrow strip of land between the stream and the 
lofty walls which tower hundreds of feet high. 
Here, by a careful system of irrigation are raised 
corn, melons, pumpkins, beans, peaches, etc., which 
flourish in great profusion in the almost tropical 
heat. Old houses are found on the cliffs along the 


walls of the canon, which according to tradition were 
once occupied by certain families; hence it is prob- 
able that in early days the Havasupai were cliff- 
dwellers. 1 

The term "pueblo, " a Spanish word meaning 
village, has come into general use as the name both 
for a certain kind of Indian town or village found 
in the southwest and for the inhabitants of those 
villages as well. The pueblos are of the communal 
type, the houses rising from one to five or six stories 
in height and arranged along more or less irregular 
passageways or courts. They are usually sub- 
stantially built of adobe or of stone laid in a clay 
mortar, with square or rectangular rooms and flat 
roofs. The larger buildings rise like terraces, the 
upper stories being reached from the roof of the one 
next below. Formerly at least, the lower tier of 
rooms was entered from above from the first terrace, 
which was reached by ladders which could be 
pulled up in times of danger ; there were no doors on 
the ground floor. Since the danger of hostile attacks 
has ceased doors are very frequently made open- 
ing on the street. While some of the pueblos are 
situated on the plain, others are placed on lofty 
heights which can only be reached by steep and 
difficult trails. 

About the middle of the sixteenth century the 
number of pueblos was estimated at sixty -five; at 

Pushing, "The Nation of the Willows" (Atlantic Monthly, 
L., 362-374, 541-559)- 


present there are only twenty - seven inhabited 
pueblos, with a population of about ten thousand; 
and but few of these are supposed to be the same 
as those found by the Spanish explorers. 1 Many 
attempts have been made to identify the sites of 
the villages known to these early travellers, but 
most of them are still in doubt, except Acoma and 
the Hopi towns. The present pueblos, though ex- 
hibiting practically the same culture, are distrib- 
uted between four different linguistic stocks: the 
Tanoan, the Keresan, the Zunian, and the Shosho- 
nean. The Tanoan is the largest, comprising twelve 
villages: Taos, Picuris, Tesuque, Santa Clara, San 
Juan, San Ildefonso, Jemez, Sandia, Nambe, Isleta 
(New Mexico), Isleta (Texas), Senecu (Mexico), and 
Tewa or Hano, all but the last three on the upper 
Rio Grande in New Mexico. Hano is one of the 
Hopi towns in Arizona, and was settled by people 
who fled from the Rio Grande for fear of Spanish 
vengeance after the native uprising of 1680. 

The seven Keresan villages are Chochiti, San 
Felipe, Santa Ana, Santo Domingo, Sia, Laguna, 
and Acoma, all situated along the Rio Grande or its 
tributaries and south of most of the Tanoan towns. 
Zuni, the only permanently inhabited village of the 
Zunian stock, is farther west, near the Arizona 
border. Of Shoshonean stock are six of the seven 

1 Bandelier, "Historical Introduction to Studies among the 
Sedentary Indians of New Mexico" (Archaeological Institute 
of America, Papers, I., 1-33). 


Hopi or Moki towns in northwestern Arizona — name- 
ly, Mashongnivi, Shumopovi, Shupaulovi, Sichu- 
movi, Oraibi, and Walpi. Connected with certain 
of these towns, especially Zufii, Laguna, and Acoma, 
are a number of summer pueblos which are inhabited 
during the farming season, as they are nearer the 
fields, and hence eliminate the long journeys that 
must be taken morning and night by those living 
in the older towns. These may in time become 
permanent villages, as there is no longer anywhere 
necessity for protection from attack which the larger 
towns afforded. 

Physically, the Pueblo Indians are of short stature, 
with long, low head, delicate face, and dark skin. 
They are muscular and of great endurance, able to 
carry heavy burdens up steep and difficult trails, 
and to walk or even run great distances. It is 
said to be no uncommon thing for a Hopi to run 
forty miles over a burning desert to his cornfield, 
hoe his corn, and return home within twenty -four 
hours. Distances of one hundred and forty miles are 
frequently made within thirty-six hours. 1 In dis- 
position they are mild and peaceable, industrious, 
and extraordinarily conservative, a trait shown in 
the fidelity with which they retain and perpetuate 
their ancient customs. 

Though the region inhabited by these peoples is 
arid, their main dependence is on agriculture. Fields 
of corn, melons, squashes, beans, chile, tobacco, etc., 

1 James, Indians of the Painted Desert, go. 


as well as orchards of peaches, are found in the 
neighborhood of most of the pueblos. There is 
often a system of irrigation, and dams are built for 
the storage of water, not only for irrigating purposes, 
but also for domestic use. The fields are frequently 
at a distance of many miles from the village; for 
land with a sufficient amount of moisture to produce 
crops can be found only at scattered spots. 

In addition to looking after the fields, the men 
do the spinning, weaving, knitting, and making of 
garments of cotton and wool, cotton having been 
raised by the Pueblo Indians from prehistoric times. 
They also have to procure fuel, which must often 
be brought from far-distant points. The women, 
on the other hand, not only own the house, as among 
the Navajo, but also do the building, though it is 
the duty of the men to supply the larger wooden 
rafters and beams. The women must also carry 
the water, which in the case of those living on high 
elevations, like the Hopi, is no easy task. The 
grinding of meal and preparing of food take a large 
portion of their time. In addition to this they 
make the pottery, for which the Pueblo region has 
become famous. 1 

The social organization is by villages rather than 

1 Holmes, " Pottery of the Ancient Pueblos " (Bureau of Eth- 
nology, Fourth Annual Report); Cushing, "A Study of Pueblo 
Pottery" {ibid); Fewkes, "Archaeological Expedition to Ari- 
zona "(ibid. , Seventeenth Annual Report) ; Hough, ' ' Archaeological 
Field-Work in Northeastern Arizona" (U. S. National Museum, 
Report for igoi). 


tribes, each pueblo having a peace-chief or governor, 
with a number of councillors, and a war-chief. The 
clans, 1 which are very numerous in proportion to 
the population, are at the basis of the entire social 
and religious organization. Marriage is monoga- 
mous, and the children belong to the clan of the 
mother, the daughters inheriting the mother's per- 
sonal possessions. Private property in land is not 
recognized, though individual occupation is respect- 
ed as long as the land is in use. 

The Pueblo, as a rule, are very religious, much of 
their time being spent in elaborate ceremonials. 
The performance of these ceremonies and rites is in 
the hands of secret societies or priesthoods, of which 
there are several in every village. These have been 
studied in a number of villages, but probably those 
of the Hopi or Moki are the best known. Here from 
four to sixteen days in every month are employed by 
one society or another in the carrying out of religious 
rites; the public performances are inappropriately 
termed "dances" by the whites, as in the case of 
the so-called "snake-dance/' The secret portion 
of these ceremonies takes place in the "kiva," a 
rectangular room, usually underground, and always 
entered by a trap-door in the roof. The ceremonies 
are very complex, some of them lasting over a week, 
and abound in details too long for these pages. In 
many cases an elaborate structure, usually called 

1 Hodge, "Pueblo Indian Clans" {American Anthropologist, 
IX., 345). 


an altar, is constructed in the kiva, the chief feature 
being a complicated sand mosaic, reminding one of 
the sand paintings of the Navajo. Numerous sym- 
bolic figures are represented, especially the symbols 
for clouds and rain, and prayer - sticks and other 
objects are placed around it. Prayer-sticks are al- 
ways used in connection with religious ceremonies, 
for without them the supplication would be in- 
effectual. In some of the ceremonies, to make the 
prayers to the clan ancestors called "katcinas" 
more effectual, these deities are impersonated by 
men wearing masks and dressed in costumes char- 
acteristic of these beings. Nearly all of the ceremo- 
nies, though in large part secret, close with a pub- 
lic performance, often most brilliant and striking, 
of which the snake-dance is a good example. 

The purpose of these elaborate ceremonies may 
be summed up in one word — rain. The very exist- 
ence of the Pueblo Indian is dependent upon his 
crops, of which corn is the most important. In the 
arid region in which he lives it is always a question 
whether the rainfall will be sufficient to bring this 
to maturity. He believes that there are immense 
reservoirs in the heavens where the water is stored 
up, and hence every endeavor is made to gain the 
favor of the powers above, who control the supply, 
that they may grant him sufficient rain and a 
bountiful harvest. 

In Mexico and Central America appear a great 
number of Indian tribes, representing numerous 


linguistic stocks and all degrees of development. 
Some of them reached the highest stages of culture 
known to have existed on the western continent. 
Many other more primitive tribes are little known 
and of small historical importance; of the more 
significant groups the best known are doubtless 
the Nahua or Aztec, among the different tribes of 
which, some living as far south as Nicaragua and 
Costa Rica, the most noted composed the famous 
Aztec confederacy. This confederacy, with certain 
conquered tribes which it held in subjection, is what 
has been called the "empire of Montezuma." It 
was composed of three towns with the territories 
belonging to each : Tenochtitlan or Mexico, Tezcuco, 
and Tlacopan. Mexico or Tenochtitlan was the head 
of the confederacy and the seat of government. 

Another people who had attained an equal and 
in some respects a higher degree of culture were 
the Maya-Quiche tribes, most of them living in 
Yucatan and Guatemala. Of these the Maya of 
Yucatan are the most important. In the region now 
included by the Mexican state of Michoacan and 
portions of some neighboring districts were found 
the Tarascan, who had a somewhat different culture, 
though still high. In Oaxaca were the Mixtec and 
Zapotec, of whom numerous remains are found. 
In Vera Cruz were the Huastec, a branch of the 
Maya-Quich6 family. Between them and the Nahua 
were the Totonac, whose remains also indicate a 
distinct culture. These may be regarded as the 


most advanced in civilization of the Mexican peo- 
ples. In northern Mexico remains are found which 
indicate a culture intermediate between that of the 
Pueblo and that of the groups just mentioned. 

Many of the Mexican tribes are still living under 
almost primitive conditions, but practically all of 
them have been influenced more or less by the Span- 
iards and by later European culture. The present 
descendants of the older and more civilized peoples, 
including approximately two million Nahua, know 
practically nothing of the culture of their forefathers 
and lead a relatively simple life, though they still 
cling tenaciously to many of their former customs 
and refuse to adopt the new civilization around 

That a considerable advance towards civilization 
had been made by these peoples before the arrival 
of the Spaniards is indicated, not only by the ac- 
counts of their conquerors, but also by the very 
numerous remains that have been discovered, es- 
pecially within recent years. The earlier accounts 
were painted in glowing colors, and while at first 
accepted and later discredited, are now generally 
believed to contain a considerable element of truth, 
though in many places distorted through lack of 
appreciation of native customs and beliefs, and in 
other cases exaggerated. 

The most important of the remains are found on 
the sites of ancient cities, and the architecture of 
the buildings themselves is one of the most impor- 


tant features. The great ruins of the Nahua group 
include Tula, Teotihuacan, Xochicalco, Tepoztlan, 
Cholula, and Tenochtitlan, now the city of Mexico. 
Though this city was destroyed at the time of the 
conquest, a vast number of objects were buried 
beneath the soil on which the new city arose, and 
many of these have recently been brought to light. 
In the Huastecan and Totonacan regions are the 
ruins of Papantla, Misantla, Cuetla, Tusapan, and 
Cempoalla. The ruins on Monte Alban in Oaxaca 
are the most stupendous in all Mexico, and are sup- 
posed to represent the seat of the ancient capital of 
the Zapotec. Mitla, in the same district, is a noted 
example of ancient architecture, and in some ways 
the most remarkable in America. Here stones of 
many tons have been brought from quarries on the 
neighboring mountains, and all have been fitted to- 
gether with the utmost nicety and precision. Here, 
as in many other places, complicated carved designs 
are found, covering whole faces of buildings, and 
all accomplished with nothing better than tools of 
stone or possibly of hardened copper. 

In the Maya region are remains of hundreds of 
towns remarkable for their size and elaborate 
sculptures. Among the most important may be 
mentioned Palenque, Menche, Tikal, Labna, Kabah, 
Uxmal, Chichen Itza, Quirigua, and Copan. One 
feature common to most of these ruins is the pres- 
ence of pyramids, frequently of immense size, and 
usually surmounted by buildings. In Yucatan the 


pyramids are usually built, or at least faced, with 
stone, while among the Nahua they were con- 
structed of adobe brick. The pyramid of Cholula, 
originally crowned by a temple which was destroyed 
by Cortes, was fourteen hundred and forty feet 
square at the base and one hundred and seventy- 
seven feet high. 

The civilization, 1 however, which is represented 
by these ancient ruins is not to be regarded as any- 
thing radically different from that we have met 
farther north, but rather as a development along 
the same lines, with modifications due to a more 
complex organization. There are many points in 
common with the Pueblo culture of the southwest : 
we still find the peace-chief, with his councillors, and 
the war-chief, though the occupants of these positions 
have become more conspicuous because of the in- 
creasing complexity and material prosperity of a 
higher state of culture. Montezuma, for example, is 
now known to have been simply the war-chief of the 
Aztec confederation, holder of an elective office, 
from which the chief could be deposed for miscon- 
duct — a common provision among Indian tribes, 
but not ordinarily compatible with hereditary 

1 Bandelier, "On the Art of War and Mode of Warfare of the 
Ancient Mexicans" (Peabody Museum, Tenth Annual Report); 
"On the Distribution and Tenure of Lands and the Customs 
with Respect to Inheritance among the Ancient Mexicans" 
(ibid., Eleventh Annual Report); "On the Social Organization 
and Mode of Government of the Ancient Mexicans" (ibid., 
Twelfth Annual Report) . 


monarchy. The clan was still the basis of the 
social structure, and the method of choosing chiefs 
and councillors was quite similar to that found 
among the Iroquois. Land was the property of the 
clan, and was assigned to the individual, who could 
hold it only as long as he cultivated it properly. 
The tribes conquered by the confederacy were re- 
quired to pay tribute, which was collected by cer- 
tain officials of the league and distributed between 
its members, Mexico getting two-fifths. The tribu- 
tary tribes were also required to furnish warriors 
in case of need at the demand of the confederacy. 

Among these peoples agriculture was still funda- 
mental, but manufactures and trade were also con- 
siderably developed. Certain towns and regions 
became noted for particular products, and regular 
markets under governmental supervision were held 
in specified places. Great skill was displayed in the 
carving of wood, shells, and precious stones, and in 
gold and silver work. The products and art of the 
different regions were usually quite distinctive, es- 
pecially in the better grades of pottery, which was 
often beautifully ornamented. 

The religious system may also be regarded as a 
higher development of that found among the north- 
ern tribes. The mythology had become more 
systematized and the power of the priesthood had 
increased. The endeavor to propitiate the gods 
and to cause them to grant favoring rains and 
abundant crops is still most in evidence; but in 


connection with other interests and industries many- 
new deities with their associated ceremonies and 
priesthoods had been introduced. The religious 
rites were elaborate and prescribed with minuteness, 
and animal and even human sacrifices were not 

Systems of picture-writing or hieroglyphics had 
also been developed. Among the Nahua there were 
numerous books, a few of which have been pre- 
served and are still very imperfectly understood. 
These works, commonly called "codices," were 
painted on prepared paper or skins; some of them 
seem to be religious calendars, others historical 
records. The Maya had a somewhat different sys- 
tem of writing, of which there are a number of 
specimens on the monuments and a few codices. 
Some of these also, especially those relating to the 
calendar, have been partially deciphered. A third 
kind of inscription has recently been found in 
Zapotec ruins, but nothing has been accomplished 
in the way of interpretation. In many places wall 
paintings are found, which frequently remind one 
strongly of certain figures in the codices, which, like 
the figures in the sculptures, throw much light upon 
the dress, ornaments, and even the implements and 
weapons of the people. 

In general it may be said that the culture of 
these peoples, especially of the Nahua and Maya, was 
much higher than that found farther north, but still 
a development indigenous to the country and based 

VOL. II. — 13 


upon elements held in common with many other 
American tribes. 

On the high plateaus of South America a consid- 
erable advance towards civilization had also been 
made, but not equal to that found in Mexico. It is 
also to be regarded as a higher development, under 
favorable conditions, of a local culture in no wise 
essentially different from that of surrounding tribes. 



THE most significant factor in Indian sociology 
is undoubtedly the clan. This is a kinship 
group in which the degree of relationship between 
the members is not regarded. The fact of kin- 
ship is, however, whether traceable or not, always 
assumed and is indispensable for the clan con- 
ception. Discussion as to the origin of the clan 
system has been active for many years and shows 
no sign of abating: a common view is that the clan 
is an outgrowth of the family; but there are many 
facts to support the contention that the family is a 
new formation within the clan. 

Though actual kinship between members of the 
same clan need not necessarily be traceable, there 
must be some mode of expressing the idea of kinship 
which dominates and binds the group together, and 
the usual mode is the custom or institution of 
totemism. A totem is a class of objects, usually 
animals or plants, with which an individual regards 
himself as standing in a special relation. 1 This 

1 Fraser, in Encyclopedia Britannica, art., " Totemism/' 



relation may be one of descent from or kindred 
with the particular animal or plant, or there may 
be no notion of consanguinity. All those who 
claim this special relationship with a given totem 
are regarded as kin and as standing in the same 
degree of kinship to each other. This totemic 
clan is a fundamental Indian institution, and ap- 
pears everywhere in North America, except in the 
far north, on the plateaus, at certain points on the 
Pacific coast, and among a few tribes of the plains. 

Alongside the numerous important features of 
the clan organization, which vary in detail in differ- 
ent parts of the continent, stands out the principle 
that each clansman has a double relationship: a 
religious one to his totem, and a social one to his 
fellow - members of the group. Perhaps the most 
striking feature of the social aspect, a feature which 
is inflexible and shows no tendency to variation, is 
the law of exogamy with respect to the clan : mem- 
bers of the same totem group must not marry; 
violation of this rule was ordinarily punished with 

Since the parents of an Indian could not be of the 
same clan, it was necessary for one of them to be 
disregarded in determining the clan or totem of the 
new-born child ; and it was generally the father who 
was passed over, and the child was assigned to the 
clan of the mother. This is "female inheritance," 
and is a custom from which much has been inferred 
with regard to the early development of the family. 

i 9 oo] INDIAN SOCIETY 197 

The classical deduction is that descent through the 
mother argues a previous condition of sexual 
promiscuity in which the paternity of a child would 
be uncertain and he must necessarily be assigned 
to his mother alone; with increasing stability in 
the marriage relation paternity would come to be 
reasonably certain, and the child would tend to be 
assigned to the father, as the head of the family, and 
to the father's clan where there was a clan organ- 
ization. Under this theory maternal inheritance 
is therefore regarded as preceding, in the evolution 
of the family and society, the paternal recognition. 
The fundamental error in this plausible line of 
argument, as applied to the world in general, lies 
in the disturbing fact that society is so complex 
in the factors which have contributed to its growth 
that it is by no means certain that what may be 
true of the development of an institution in one 
region will hold good for the entire human race. 
In the present chaotic condition of sociological and 
ethnological data it is unsafe to assert that a given 
tribe on a paternal basis represents a higher stage 
of social evolution than one on a maternal system, 
even though it may ultimately prove that in gen- 
eral the reasoning outlined above holds good. For 
example, as has been stated, 1 the Kwakiutl of 
Vancouver Island are in a transition stage from 
paternal to maternal institutions instead of the re- 
verse, which should be the case according to rule. 

1 See above, chap. vii. 


Whatever the reason, the majority of the Indian 
tribes traced descent through the mother, and 
children were assigned to the mother's clan. In 
some groups, where the system was less rigid, the 
child might, for sufficient reasons, be entered in 
the father's clan, even when he would normally 
inherit that of his mother. This would occur in 
cases where the paternal group was in need of 
strengthening. If the rules of exogamy were all, 
the clan organization would not be so important a 
factor. As a matter of fact, it enters every phase of 
the Indian's life : his first obligation is to his clan, 
and where its welfare comes into collision with that 
of the immediate family the latter gives way. 

The wide-spread custom of "blood revenge" was 
a clan matter. The entire kinship group of the 
murdered man demanded satisfaction, and the en- 
tire clan of the murderer was held responsible. The 
logical extension of this conception of common 
blood is seen in certain South American tribes, where 
if an individual by accident injures himself he i's 
obliged to pay blood-money to his clan because he 
has been guilty of shedding the blood of his clan. 1 
A real difficulty occurred where an individual mur- 
dered a fellow-clansman, which act is in general 
among savages the most heinous crime of which 
one can be guilty, being both a sacrilegious as well 
as a social offence. To put the offender to death 
would be to commit a second crime of the same 
1 Sievers, Reise in der Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, 256. 

i 9 oo] INDIAN SOCIETY 199 

character. In certain groups the condition was 
cleverly met by first formally outlawing or expelling 
the murderer from the clan, after which he could 
legitimately be hunted down and put to death; 1 
in other places the tendency seems to have been 
rather to condone the offence, as if in bewilderment 
as to the appropriate action. 2 

The civil functions of the clan are more impor- 
tant than those more purely social. 3 In most of the 
tribes chieftainship and special governmental privi- 
leges resided permanently in certain clans. There 
were ordinarily among the Indians chiefs of two 
kinds, who have come to be termed "sachems" 
and ordinary " chiefs." The sachem was essentially 
a civil officer and his duties and authority were 
confined to times of peace; while the chief might 
have duties concerned with war or any other affairs 
for which he was peculiarly fitted. The sachem 
was primarily an officer of the clan, and the position 
was hereditary in that group; a vacancy in the 
office was filled by election as often as it occurred. 
In tribes with maternal inheritance a brother or a 
sister's son was usually chosen to succeed a deceased 
sachem, though any male member of the clan was 
regarded as eligible. This right of election, and 
the corresponding right of deposition for cause, 

1 Cf. Powell, " Wyandot Government " (Bureau of Ethnology, 
First Annual Report, 67). 

2 Charlevoix, Histoire de la Nonvelle France, 274. 

3 For a masterly discussion of this whole subject and the 
topics which follow, see Morgan, Ancient Society, 62 If. 


were jealously guarded by the clans, and are the 
germs of democracy as expressed by the American 
aborigines. Among the Iroquois, however, the tribe 
occasionally stepped in and deposed a sachem for 
unworthy behavior, without waiting for the action 
of the clan. In such cases the latter appears to 
have been powerless to resist. 

The term "chief," as applied to leading men 
among the Indians, is so indefinite as to be almost 
meaningless. There was, however, one qualifica- 
tion of great significance — namely, personal fitness. 
There were, in other words, chiefs rather than 
chieftainships, since personal prowess or ability were 
the conditions of the position, and the office usually 
died with the holder. The number of chiefs in a 
clan, or in a tribe without clans, was quite indefi- 
nite and depended much upon the personnel of 
the group. In stocks such as the Iroquois there 
was one chief to about every seventy-five or one 
hundred persons, but this cannot be taken as a 
criterion. In tribes with well-organized councils one 
of the main functions of the chief was to sit officially 
as a member of that body. In other more loosely 
constructed tribes, such as appear in the west, his 
duties and authority were very indefinite. 

There is much misconception regarding Indian 
chieftainship in general. The chief was the pre- 
eminent figure only in times of great emergency, 
such as war ; and as those were precisely the occasions 
upon which the Indians were usually seen by the 

i 9 oo] INDIAN SOCIETY 201 

whites, an exaggerated idea of the chief's impor- 
tance has grown up. With the passing of the 
emergency the chief tended to lapse back to the 
level of the other members of the tribe, and special 
authority often did not exist for him. The Indian 
is essentially individualistic and will not brook 
authority except where long-continued custom has 
proven its necessity. On the northwest coast, the 
essential condition of chieftainship is wealth, which 
is acquired for the purpose of making great feasts 
and gifts and thereby attaining increased rank 
in the order of nobles or chiefs. There is in that 
region, too, a sharp line drawn between the social 
classes, which makes it almost impossible for a ple- 
beian, and quite so for a slave, to rise to the rank 
of chief. These social differences do not appear so 
much in manner of life or in the intercourse of every 
day as in ceremonials and in questions of marriage. 
In Indian society, therefore, the privileges per- 
taining to the clan were the main heritage of any 
individual — name, position, and ceremonial rights 
were perhaps the most valued of all these privileges ; 
but that of ownership of property as such seems 
often to depend upon the clan organization. Where 
clans existed, land was the common property of 
that group; where clans were absent it belonged 
to the band or tribe. It is said that in certain 
regions of the northwest individual proprietorship 
existed in the case of fishing and hunting locations, 
but such a condition was exceptional, 


The combination of common ownership and 
universal hospitality made the accumulation of per- 
sonal property unnecessary and unusual, so that 
the disposition of the goods and chattels of the 
deceased individual did not raise a question of 
much importance. It was, however, bound to arise, 
and, as might be expected, it appears to have been 
the clan in which the right of inheritance lay. 
The most cherished and intimate of the personal 
effects were ordinarily buried with the deceased. 
The rest of his personal property went to his near- 
est of kin, but remained within the clan. In a 
maternal group a man's brothers and sisters and 
maternal uncles were usually his heirs ; his children 
took nothing, since they belonged to a different 
clan. In the case of a woman's death her chil- 
dren received the bulk of her property; husband 
or wife inherited nothing from the other. It ap- 
pears as if the individual or the family were thus 
the custodian rather than the actual owner of the 

A striking characteristic of Indian society, and 
one difficult for us to understand, is the great 
stress laid upon the name. In most groups cer- 
tain names resided in certain clans and were used 
by no others, so that the personal name of an in- 
dividual was indicative of the clan to which he be- 
longed. The customs relating to name giving and 
acquisition varied widely in North America, but 
it was not usual for a person to receive his adult 


name, the one by which he would afterwards be 
known, until puberty, or until he had gained the 
right to bear it by some act of distinguished prowess 
or service. In certain regions, as in the northwest, 
ceremonial privileges go with the name, and the 
right of bestowal is vested in the hereditary owner 
or custodian. Under such conditions the name be- 
comes true property and the regard for it is much 
more than a mere matter of sentiment. Among 
the Kwakiutl a man who is in financial difficulties 
and unable to meet his potlatch obligations may 
even pawn his name for a longer or shorter period, 
and an excessive rate of interest is charged for the 
accommodation. 1 During such time as his name 
is thus in pawn he must not use it in any way, 
and his social position is thereby lowered. It is, 
further, during that period the property of the 
money-lender, and his position is heightened by 
whatever the value or rank of the pledged name 
may be. 

Among nearly all tribes the acquisition or change 
of names was a matter of public ceremonial, and 
was regarded as an event of prime importance in 
the life of the individual. Occasionally a name 
would be discarded after a severe illness or other 
misfortune, but among the eastern tribes at least 
such action required the consent of the clan. Names 
might also be lent as a mark of particular favor or 
friendship, the beneficiary having the privilege of 

1 Boas, Social Organization of the Kwakiutl Indians, 341. 


using it for a limited time, or for life, as the case 
might be. 

One of the chief concerns of the clan was to keep 
and increase its strength. Under the conditions 
of almost unceasing warfare in which the Indians 
lived, the loss of members by death was a constant 
menace to the life and vitality of the clan. To meet 
this danger grew up the custom of adoption. An 
adopted person became in every sense a member 
of the clan or family or tribe into which he was 
received. The strangers thus adopted were, as a 
rule, captives in war or stray members of other 
tribes. The act was carried out by an individual, 
but had to be ratified by the clan, and sometimes by 
the tribe, in a ceremonial manner. Adoption was 
also a means of atoning for accidental homicide, 
and thus avoiding blood revenge. The offender 
in such a case would offer himself, for example, to 
the mother of his victim, and, being accepted by 
her, would assume in every form the duties and 
obligations of the dead son. 

The settlement of disputes and all matters of 
debate which pertained to the clan exclusively were 
in the hands of the chiefs, or when they could not 
decide, devolved upon the council. This institu- 
tion of the council was again practically universal 
among the Indians. Its structure might vary from 
that of the Iroquois clan, where the women had an 
equal right with men, to that of tribes of the west, 
where the former were not consulted; but it was 

i 9 oo] INDIAN SOCIETY 205 

always pre-eminently a place of free speech. Its 
deliberations were calm and unhurried and its deci- 
sions were usually accepted without question. This 
latter fact is surprising when we remember that lit- 
tle or no provision was made for the execution of 
its decrees. As was noted in the case of the Iroquois, 
the council depended upon public opinion for sup- 
port and was seldom disappointed. The council 
of the clan was the prototype of that of the tribe or 
confederacy where such existed. Where clans were 
absent the local band or tribe held its council in 
the same way and to the same ends. It was the 
corner-stone of Indian civil procedure, and will be 
discussed again presently in connection with the 
larger organizations. 

These, then, are the main features of the clan as 
it is found in America. It must be remembered, 
however, that, hampered as the Indian might be by 
tradition, by custom, by clan or other obligation, he 
always insisted upon and retained his formal free- 
dom of action. His sachems and his chiefs were his 
representatives and leaders in times of emergency, 
but except in such regions as the northwest coast 
equality and independence were the characteristics 
of American savage life. 

A social institution of some importance was 
slavery, which has several times been mentioned 
in connection with the tribes of the Pacific coast, 
where the institution found its stronghold. Cap- 
tives in war were the usual victims, but their 


children were also doomed to slavery, and the con- 
sequence was the formation of a class in the com- 
munity as distinct as that of the nobility and 
nearly as permanent. While these slaves were the 
absolute property of their owners, and could be sold 
or put to death at will, their life does not appear 
to have been particularly hard except in unusual 
cases. The e very-day life of the owners was not 
such as to permit much lowering without ex- 
tinction, and the slave had about the same food 
and shelter as his master. Slavery of a sort 
also existed in the southeast; and in more mod- 
ern times certain of the Muskhogean tribes, im- 
itating the whites, became the owners of ne- 

The clans of any given tribe were ordinarily 
gathered into two or more classes known as phratries, 
which were also exogamous groups and still further 
restricted the choice of the individual in marriage. 
The phratry was probably an overgrown clan which 
had become unwieldy, and upon subdivision the 
constituent groups still retained a memory of their 
mutual relationship and consequent inability to 
intermarry. The functions of the phratry are some- 
what indefinite but are distinctly social and cere- 
monial rather than governmental. It is seen at its 
best among the tribes of the east and in Mexico, 
but is also present in Alaska and British Columbia 
as well as in certain parts of the western United 

i 9 oo] INDIAN SOCIETY 207 

Among the Algonquian and Iroquoian Indians 
the phratry appears most prominently in such 
social affairs as public games. In ball-games, for 
example, the phratries are pitted against each other 
and the clan disappears in the united enthusiasm. 
In councils of the tribe the sachems and chiefs sat 
by phratries and not by clans, but this arrangement 
was purely formal and without real significance. 
Among the Iroquois the influence of the phratry 
was sometimes invoked by a constituent clan to 
arrange the condonation of a murder or other 
offence, and often with a successful result which 
might not have been reached had the clan acted 
independently. At the funerals of important per- 
sons the phratry also appeared prominently. The 
members of the phratry of the deceased were the 
mourners, and the opposite phratry took charge 
of the ceremonies. 

In matters of government the phratry had the 
right of confirming or rejecting an election of sa- 
chem or chief made by the clan. Following such 
an election among the Iroquois, councils of both 
phratries were called and each acted upon the 
choice. If either phratry refused to acquiesce in 
the nomination it was thereby null and void, and 
the clan was obliged to proceed to a second election. 
If both phratries approved the choice it was re- 
garded as final. 

In Mexico, among the Aztec, the phratry seems 
to have had a distinct military function as well as 


to have been a social and religious group. 1 The 
warriors of the tribe were divided into four bands, 
each corresponding to a phratry and each under the 
leadership of a phratry captain. Such a military 
subdivision was probably not present, however, in 
any of the northern tribes. 

The next step in the social organization of the 
Indians was the tribe. It has already been re- 
marked that this is an indefinite term, referring 
sometimes to a single village and sometimes to a 
number of such local groups. In certain stocks 
where the social system is closely knit there is no 
difficulty in drawing the tribal lines. In others, 
where the organization is looser — for example, on 
the plateaus — definition becomes difficult if not 
impossible. The features which are generally re- 
garded as characteristic of a tribe, in distinction to 
any other group, larger or smaller, are the possession 
of a dialect and territory, and sometimes of a name 
and separate government. 2 Of these characteristics 
the dialect may be regarded as determinant. Con- 
tinuity of territory will, naturally, exist for the 
tribe in the vast majority of cases, since geographical 
separation of related bands is exactly the factor 
which tends to bring about dialectic as well as 
general independence, and hence favors the forma- 
tion of new tribes. 

1 Bandelier, " On the Art of War and Mode of Warfare of the 
Ancient Mexicans " (Peabody Museum, Tenth Annual Report). 

2 Morgan, Ancient Society, 102. 


It is impossible to lay down a strict criterion for 
drawing the line between tribe and band, but there 
is no doubt that the linguistic consideration is the 
most important. The habit of authorities in the 
case of Indian tribes has been to follow the native 
usage, and where the Indians recognized relation- 
ship and grouped themselves under a given name, 
to regard that particular aggregation as a distinct 
tribe. Common customs will also aid in the de- 
termination of the tribal limits, particularly where 
the clan organization exists and where the exoga- 
mous and endogamous regulations can be clearly 
stated. On the other hand, a supreme government 
cannot be regarded as distinctive, since in many 
groups recognized by every one as tribes there are 
any number of smaller component groups or bands, 
each of which is entirely independent in every sense 
of the word. 1 Such a condition may be seen among 
the Shahaptian tribes of the west, as well as in 
other regions. 2 The few cases in which the above- 
mentioned characteristics of common dialect and 
common institutions do not occur are temporary 
conditions, where one tribe may be undergoing ab- 
sorption by another. 

It appears as if there had been a constant ten- 
dency towards disintegration among the Indian 
tribes; and the process was no doubt hastened by 
the chances for segmentation due to the wide 

1 Morgan regards the central government as distinctive ; see 
Ancient Society, 102. 2 See above, chap. viii. 

vol. 11. — 14 


geographical dispersion of certain groups. The 
physical features of the continent and the exi- 
gencies of the food quest are enough to account 
for the process. The development of agriculture 
doubtless tended to arrest the dispersion, since it 
immediately increased the number of individuals 
who were able to obtain subsistence from a given 
area; but it could never have proved more than a 
temporary check. The point of greatest signifi- 
cance in the present discussion is the place of the 
tribe in the development of government; and, as 
was brought out in the last chapter, those tribes or- 
ganized on a basis of clans are the ones in which the 
evolution towards confederation and centralization 
seem to have taken place most clearly. 

While in most tribes the right of electing sachems 
and chiefs pertained to the clan, certain tribes — 
e.g., the Iroquois, demanded the privilege of ratifica- 
tion of such elections. This meant that a chief - 
elect was not recognized officially until ceremonially 
invested with authority by the council of the tribe, 
and unfit elections could be and were nullified by 
tribal action. The right of deposition for cause, 
which was also held by the tribe as well as by the 
clan, was a further safeguard in insuring good be- 
havior after election. 

Undoubtedly, the most interesting development 
of the tribe was the council of chiefs, which was 
organized on much the same plan as that of the 
clan. Chiefs of the clans, where such existed, were 


ex-officio members of the tribal council, and that body 
held ultimate authority over tribal affairs. The 
democratic spirit was evident here as well as in the 
clan, since the meetings of the council were open to 
address by any adult male member of the tribe ; and 
among the Iroquois any woman could express her 
views through an orator chosen by herself. The 
tribal council determined upon military campaigns, 
had the power to make peace, and conducted all 
negotiations with other tribes. 

A head chief of the tribe did not exist as a rule; 
though in certain cases one of the sachems was 
recognized as of higher rank and authority than 
the others, and upon him would devolve the duty 
of representing the tribe when the council was not 
or could not be convened. In such circumstances 
his action was always subject to ratification by the 
council, and his authority depended almost wholly 
upon his personal capacity and influence. The 
early designation of some of these leading chiefs as 
' ' kings ' ' is absurd, as there was little in the position 
of an executive character. Among the Aztec the 
head war -chief, Montezuma, naturally became a 
figure of prominence owing to the necessities of the 
military situation at the time of the Spanish in- 
vasion; but among the tribes farther north the so- 
called king was nothing more than the elective and 
often temporary chief of a tribe, or possibly of a 
confederation. Among the Iroquois, w T ho, as we 
have seen, carried the idea of representative govern- 


ment to a high degree of expression, no head chief 
at all was recognized. 

Where segmentation, from whatever cause, has 
brought about the formation of new dialects and 
tribal bonds, the relationship between the tribes 
thus formed will often be recognized although the 
fact of former unity may not be remembered even 
in tradition. When to this relationship be added 
geographical contiguity, it is evident that the in- 
terests of the given tribes will often be common. 

Among the Indians generally the constant fear 
was of attack from hostile groups, and the suggestion 
of union of related tribes for mutual defence would 
be as natural as the occasion was frequent. This 
was unquestionably the origin of the confederacy, 
which may also be regarded as a typical Indian 
institution. In the confederacy as well as in the 
tribe the clan influence persisted and was the basis 
of organization. In cases where clans were un- 
known the leagues have usually been of a more 
fragile and temporary character, a fact which em- 
phasizes the importance of the kinship bond in 
the civil unions. 

The two confederacies of highest type in North 
America were those of the Iroquois and the Aztec, 
both of which have been briefly described. Others 
which were of considerable permanence were the 
Creek, Dakota, Moki, and Blackfoot. The last- 
named is especially interesting, since it includes a 
tribe of Athapascan stock, the Sarcee, while the 

i 9 oo] INDIAN SOCIETY 213 

other and presumably original members of the 
league are of Algonquian lineage. The confederacies 
to which reference is often made in the history of 
the colonies and the western movement were gen- 
erally temporary unions for special emergencies, 
and were rather loose alliances than true con- 
federations. Such, for example, were the various 
leagues among the tribes of New England, the 
Powhatan in Virginia, the Illinois in the state of 
that name, and others. 

One of the most valuable results of modern 
ethnological research is the proof, now indisputa- 
ble, that practically all of these confederacies were 
similar in general character. The reaction from 
the extravagances and inaccuracies of the Spanish 
recorders and their later interpreters produced a 
swing of the pendulum of authority which reduced 
the Aztec to the level of the Mohawk, and be- 
littled the advances in all directions which the 
Mexicans and Maya had achieved. The more mod- 
erate opinion is probably correct — viz., that the 
Aztec political and industrial systems had devel- 
oped further, but along much the same lines, as in 
the more northern tribes. 

The process and to a certain extent the causes 
of the higher attainments of the Aztec are not hard 
to understand. The development of agriculture by 
the elaboration of irrigation naturally produced a 
greater density of population. With the increas- 
ing numbers in a limited area organization became 


a necessity. The pressure on the food supply- 
brought about a system of organized plunder from 
tribes which had been conquered and were held in 
subjugation by the efficiency of the confederation. 
The collection of this tribute and its equable distri- 
bution demanded an executive, and it was provided 
by increased dignity and authority vested in the 
war-chief, who was gradually assuming civil as well 
as military functions. Coincident with this growth 
of the chief executive, which must be considered 
the most significant phase of the Aztec government, 
came an increase in the number of subordinate 
civil officers and consequent differentiation in their 
functions. It is not unlikely that with time the 
two war - chiefships of the Iroquois, 1 created for 
special military operations, would have been con- 
solidated and a more permanent executive with 
civil functions have been developed. In other 
words, the Iroquois were probably following the 
very course of civil evolution through which the 
Aztec had already passed, though the progress was 
necessarily slower, by reason of the local dispersion 
of the former as compared with the compact village 
communities of the latter. 

1 See above, chap. x. 



( i 500-1 900) 

TWO facts stand out clearly from the earliest 
authentic information regarding the Indians: 
the first is that the continent was sparsely settled 
in pre-Columbian times; the second that the in- 
habitants were sedentary rather than nomadic in 
manner of life. The fact that Indians were every- 
where encountered by the early settlers means 
nothing, except that the same natural features 
which attracted the white attracted the Indian as 
well. Practically everywhere the natives were 
gathered together in villages, the sites of which 
were determined by natural advantages. These 
villages were almost invariably small, seldom with 
more than a few hundred inhabitants, and usually 
with less. With the inevitable growth and ex- 
tension of these groups new villages were formed, 
the inhabitants of which naturally retained dialec- 
tic and cultural affiliations, and thus afforded an 
opportunity for the confederations which were 
brought about by common interests. Language 



and geographical proximity were the pre-eminent 
factors in binding together the tribes and con- 

Furthermore, these villages were almost always 
permanent, although the seasonal changes of resi- 
dence brought about by the necessities of the food 
quest often gave to the early observers the impres- 
sion of an unstable and nomadic habit. Scattered 
at intervals along the coasts of both oceans, and 
on the waterways of the continent and about the 
shores of the lakes of the interior, it is not strange 
that the white immigrants encountered these vil- 
lages at every turn and supposed that the vast 
intervening territories were as thickly peopled as 
the natural routes of travel which they happened 
to be following; whereas, as a matter of fact, large 
areas were nearly as destitute of Indian as of white 

For this and other reasons, gross misconceptions 
have arisen regarding the number of Indians at 
the discovery; and with them equally erroneous 
ideas as to the rapid decrease and inevitable ex- 
tinction of the race. 1 Such calculations as can be 
made would show nothing but a gradual diminish- 
ing of their numbers, except in special groups; and 
in some cases an increase can be proven. So far as 
the evidence is attainable, it indicates that sparse 
and scattered population has been the condition 
from time immemorial. 

1 See above, chap. vi. 

i 9 oo] INDIAN LIFE 217 

To return to the villages — the dwellings of which 
they consisted naturally varied widely in character 
both with the environment and with the culture and 
social organization of the inhabitants. The archi- 
tectural characteristics show many variations and 
are not distributed with geographical regularity; 
some of the most characteristic types have been 
described in the preceding chapters, and we need 
do nothing more than sum up at this point. The 
most widely distributed Indian houses were un- 
doubtedly the light and not very durable shelters 
of brush, bark, and skin. These were sometimes 
elaborate, like the Iroquois ''long houses," or rude 
and simple, like the "wickiups" of the southern 

The bark and brush wigwams which are regarded 
as typical of the eastern tribes were, however, 
permanent dwellings, and were modified by the 
buffalo -hunting and rapidly moving Indians of the 
plains to meet their own conditions. These con- 
ditions brought about the device of the tipi al- 
ready described, 1 which has been adopted so widely 
in the open country of the west. On the border 
between the eastern and western group one of 
those curious transitions in type is sometimes seen, 
such as a wigwam built on tipi lines or a tipi adapted 
to the woodland life. The eastern Sioux construct 
a lodge of bark like the Iroquois, but with far less 
skill and finish. Lodges covered in with woven 

1 See above, chap, ix, 


mats were also common in many tribes, but usually 
as summer shelters. The Nez Perce of Idaho were 
described by the early explorers as living in houses 
as much as one hundred and fifty feet in length 
and built of straw and mats, the idea having been 
borrowed, it was supposed, from the wooden houses 
of the Pacific coast. The evidence is fairly good, 
however, that such were not the common Shahaptian 
dwellings but sporadic foreign introductions. 

The simpler type of the more permanent dwell- 
ings is seen in the underground lodges of the north- 
western plateaus, which were devised to afford pro- 
tection in the severe winters of that region, and 
are simply a modification of the more temporary 
shelters of brush and bark just described. A 
shallow excavation, circular in form, was covered 
in with a conical roof of poles, and that with brush 
or mats, and often with earth. These earth houses 
are typically western and appear chiefly on the 
plateaus, in Oregon and central California, on the 
southern plains, and in the southwest, among such 
tribes as the Navajo and Porno. They occur 
sporadically, but not generally, in other parts of 
the continent. The details of construction vary: 
they are sometimes round, sometimes square, some- 
times large, and sometimes small, but almost always 
embody the three features of excavation, particularly 
where the winters are hard ; of a frame-work of poles 
or beams; and of a covering of earth or sod. The 
snow houses of the Eskimo are adaptations of the 

i 9 oo] INDIAN LIFE 219 

same idea to their frozen environment, but the 
rafters are lacking and the blocks of snow are wedged 
tight by the key-block at the summit of the rounded 

The greatest development of wooden houses, that 
of the northwest coast, has already been described. 1 
In that region the attempt was made to roughhew 
the planks, but in other parts of the continent 
wooden houses were usually built of poles, or some- 
times, as among the Cherokee, of logs. 

The highest form of native architecture is reached 
in the southwestern states and in Mexico. Within 
the limits of the United States the Pueblo dwellings 
of Arizona and New Mexico are the best and most 
durable. The typical Pueblo village is a cluster of 
rectangular houses, or rather rooms, arranged about 
a central court, or in a row, and usually placed one 
over the other in terraces. The walls of the older 
Pueblo houses are of undressed stone, and the 
roofs are formed of beams, with successive layers 
of smaller sticks, brush, and packed earth. Lad- 
ders give access to the terraces, and the rooms of 
the ground floor were entered by holes in the roof. 
In these modern days, doors, stone stairways, chim- 
neys, and drains are being introduced with rapidity, 
and modify the more primitive character of the 

The ancient cliff - dwellings of the canons were 
nothing more than these Pueblo houses built in 

1 See above, chap. iii. 


great niches of the canon walls, with the overhanging 
cliffs to give protection and incidentally to preserve 
the ruins. There is good evidence that they are 
no older in type than the Pueblo houses of to-day, 
and that they were contemporaneous with the 
villages built on the flats. It is also thought by 
some writers that the peculiar elevated sites were not 
chosen primarily for purposes of defence, but simply 
as affording favorable lookout places during the 
seasons when the fields were in cultivation. Doubt- 
less both considerations contributed to the choice 
of site. 

The massive architectural remains of Mexico and 
Central America can only be mentioned. They 
unquestionably mark the apex of Indian develop- 
ment, and their magnificence has led to very wrong 
ideas as to the general level of culture to which 
the Aztec and their neighbors had attained. Some 
of these Central American structures were of 
enormous size, a thousand feet or more in ground 
diameter and as much as two hundred feet high. 
They were built of large blocks of stone, laid in mor- 
tar, and finished in various ways. It is a remarkable 
fact that with this skill in construction the principle 
of the arch was never used. 

There can be no doubt that in the local form of 
Indian houses, the continent over, social organiza- 
tion had a determining influence. 1 The type of con- 
struction may have been the result of physical en- 

1 Morgan, Houses and House Life. 

iqoo] INDIAN LIFE 221 

vironment, but the group organization undoubtedly 
led to the communal houses of the Iroquois and 
the Pueblo, of the Kwakiutl and the Mandan, and of 
numerous other tribes as well ; and where communal 
houses did not exist a similar local clustering of 
individual lodges on a basis of relationship tended to 

Moreover, the system of social organization de- 
termined other arrangements still more domestic in 
character. The position and influence of the woman 
in the "long house " of the Iroquois have been noted. 
It was not an exceptional case ; much nonsense has 
been written and believed regarding the "squaw" 
in Indian society. She is pictured as a drudge and 
slave, while her lord and master, dignified and 
lazy, is supposed never to lift his hand to work 
except under stress of direst necessity. Such ideas 
are very far from the truth. The division of labor 
between the sexes is not very unequal in the majority 
of tribes, where the hunting-life entails prolonged 
and strenuous exertion on the part of the men ; and 
the independence and authority of the woman in 
household affairs are usually recognized and often 
exerted. The lines separating the work of the men 
from that of the women are sharply drawn, and 
interference from either side is seldom brooked. 

The care of the lodge, preparation of food, and 
making of clothing and household utensils fall to 
the woman ; while the arts of hunting and war, with 
the manufacture of weapons, are the peculiar care of 


the man. With the inroads of civilization the labor 
of the man has become less and less and his energy 
has decreased at an equal rate. The task of the 
woman, on the other hand, has rather been added to 
than lightened, and the disproportion thus brought 
about affords a certain basis for the popular notions 
on the subject. 

In the every -day life of the Indian the satisfaction 
of his hunger was naturally his most important need. 
The means to this end were as varied as the en- 
vironment in which he lived. While it is justifiable 
to speak of the Indians in general as hunting and 
fishing folk, it is clear from the descriptions already 
given that a large proportion of them practised 
agriculture. It was only in the north and among 
some of the western tribes that hunting formed the 
chief means of subsistence. As soon as the latitude 
permits the growth of berries, seeds, and edible 
roots, we find the hunting people turning more 
and more to such vegetable food as can be found in a 
wild state; and as still more southern climates are 
reached, agriculture appears and increases as we 
go south, until it practically affords the sole means 
of subsistence. The wild foods were numerous; 
berries and roots of all sorts are the staples in the 
north, where lichens and the inner bark of certain 
trees are also used. In the Columbia Valley and 
on the plateaus the root of the camass (Camassia 
esculenta) is sought and obtained in great quantities, 
and eaten either roasted or in cakes made from its 

i 9 oo] INDIAN LIFE 223 

meal. In central California the acorn is the great 
source of food, and is likewise made into a meal 
and subsequently prepared in various ways. In the 
southwest, besides the cultivated plants, the mes- 
quite and the prickly -pear yield food; and in this 
region mescal is generally eaten to produce a kind 
of intoxication much in favor among the Indians. 
In the northeast the wild -rice provision of the 
Ojibwa has already been mentioned, 1 and wild 
cranberries and the other small fruits of the Great 
Lake region were also added to their diet. 

East of the Mississippi and south of the St. 
Lawrence basin, agriculture diminished the impor- 
tance of wild fruits, but they still contributed to 
the Indian's larder. It is needless to specify in 
detail, for it can truly be said that every edible 
plant was made use of by the natives ; and it was only 
in certain regions where a given variety exerted a 
marked influence on the residence, such as the 
water-lily among the Klamath, the camass on the 
plateaus, and the wild rice among the Ojibwa and 
other eastern tribes, that it deserves especial men- 
tion. Of cultivated plants, maize, beans, squash- 
es, and tobacco must be accorded the first place, 
particularly in the southeast. In certain regions, 
notably the southwest, these plants were supple- 
mented by the seeds of the sunflower. 

Of animal food, what might be termed the transi- 
tion form consisted of insects, for in the dry regions 

1 See above, chap. x. 


of the west numerous species such as the grasshopper 
and various larvae are dried, pounded into a meal, 
and mixed with vegetable products. Snakes and 
reptiles of all kinds are also eaten, unless religious 
considerations compel abstinence, as happens in a 
number of groups. The larger mammals were 
very naturally the chief contributors to the animal 
supply in areas where they existed. The seal, 
walrus, and polar-bear, the various members of the 
deer family, bears, mountain-sheep, mountain-goat, 
antelope, and, above all, the bison, have been the 
mainstay of the tribes living in the same habitats 
as those animals. Small mammals of every sort 
are eaten everywhere, and the importance of fish 
in such regions as the north Pacific coast cannot 
be over-estimated. 

The Indian methods of hunting were in general 
crude, except that much ingenuity was shown in 
devising traps for small mammals and for fish. 
With the bow and arrow and various spears and 
clubs as the chief weapons, success depended upon 
close range, and as a consequence stalking and 
driving were the ordinary means of approach to the 
larger land animals. Clever disguises of animal 
heads and skins were quite generally adopted to 
deceive the quarry in stalking. The advent of the 
horse gave a new method of hunting the buffalo, 
which was quickly seized upon by the tribes of the 
plains; and the introduction of fire-arms has of 
course revolutionized the hunting customs of the 

igoo] INDIAN LIFE 225 

Indians from one side of the continent to the other. 
The harpoons and spears in use by the Eskimo and 
tribes of the northwest coast for hunting whales and 
the other large sea mammals were particularly in- 
genious in the devices of detachable points and 
floats, which afforded safety to the hunters without 
diminishing the efficiency of the weapons. 

In preparing the foods thus obtained, roasting 
and boiling were the common methods of cooking. 
Boiling was ordinarily done by dropping heated 
stones into vessels filled with water, the receptacles 
being of wood, basketry, or pottery, occasionally 
of stone. Smoking and drying as methods of pre- 
serving meat were practised widely. The best- 
known process of drying was the so-called " jerking," 
which consisted of cutting the flesh into long, thin 
strips, which were then thoroughly dried in the sun. 
Meat thus prepared would keep indefinitely, and 
was cooked as needed. The jerked meat was some- 
times pounded up and mixed with fat, the result 
being known as "pemmican," and was much used 
in the north. In the northwest, among the salmon- 
fishing tribes, the fish are split and thoroughly 
dried and smoked, after which they are stored for 
later use. Salt was obtained from natural deposits 
or from springs, and was generally known in the 
west and as far east as the Ohio Valley. 

Domesticated animals can be disregarded as 
a source of food supply in early days, since it is 
probable that the dog was the only animal which 



would come under that head in pre-Columbian 
times. Dogs were eaten by certain tribes, but 
their chief usefulness was in other lines. It is 
almost certain that the horses which play so im- 
portant a part in the life of the plains Indians are 
the descendants of those introduced by the first 
Europeans; and the sheep and goats which now 
afford the Navajo his chief means of subsistence are 
known to have come from the Spaniards. 

Cannibalism as a practice can hardly be said to 
have existed in North America, certainly not north 
of the Mexican border. In certain tribes there were 
ceremonials in which the rite of eating human flesh, 
or at least the pretence, formed a part; and it has 
been thought that this expressed a survival from 
days when the custom was general. It was prob- 
ably nothing more than the symbolic acquisition of 
the victim's powers, and there is no evidence that 
it ever had other significance. In practically all 
cases it was an empty form. 

As among all peoples, food taboos occur in be- 
wildering variety, especially among the Eskimo, 
and hardly an Indian group can be found that 
does not practise some kind of abstinence for re- 
ligious reasons. These taboos are sometimes tem- 
porary, but sometimes permanent; in the latter 
cases there is always a traditional or mythological 
basis which gives the custom the strength of a 
religious principle. 



THE Indian's acquaintance with metal was 
little more than accidental, and his smithery 
was usually a rude beating out into the desired 
shape, with designs applied by etching or hammer- 
ing. In Mexico, as was noted in a previous chapter, 
the art of casting metals had been attained, but it 
was practically unknown in the northern parts of 
the continent. Copper and gold were most com- 
monly used, as the two metals most adaptable to 
the primitive technique of the savage. 

Thrown back upon stone and wood as the chief 
sources of raw material, it is not strange that there 
developed that infinite variety of weapons, tools, 
and vessels of those substances which archaeological 
research has brought to light. Where stone and 
wood were ill adapted, bone, antler, shell, and other 
durable materials were made to do service in the 

For certain necessaries, however, neither stone, 
wood, nor horn will answer. Clothing must be pro- 
vided, and some workable substance was called for 



as material for the various vessels and receptacles 
of every-day life. The solution of these difficulties 
was found in the arts of skin-dressing, pottery, and 
weaving, in all of which the Indian reached a high 
degree of perfection. The unevenness of the dis- 
tribution of these arts is, however, most striking. 
The knowledge of skin-dressing was widely diffused, 
but pottery-making was entirely absent in many 
regions ; and while weaving in some form was prac- 
tically universal, the degree of skill in the textile 
art varied from area to area in an inexplicable 

For the preparation of skins the treatment of 
buffalo hides by the Indians of the plains may be 
taken as an example. As soon as removed, the skin 
was spread, stretched, and pegged to the ground, 
with the flesh side up, and thus exposed to the 
blazing sun it soon became dry and hard. The 
subsequent manipulation depended upon the end 
in view. For robes, the woman began to chip away 
the surface with an adze of flint or other hard 
material, so as to reduce the skin to uniform thick- 
ness as well as to render it more pliable. It was 
here that the chief care was necessary, in order not 
to cut through at any point and yet to produce 
the desired thinness. To facilitate the process and 
to render the skin as soft as possible, it was con- 
stantly smeared with a mixture of buffalo brains 
and fat, which was thoroughly rubbed in with a 
smooth stone. The final product was as pliable as 


cloth. For tipi coverings the hair was removed by 
soaking the hide in water mixed with wood- ashes 
or some other alkaline substance, and both sides 
were treated as described above. For making 
parfleches or packing-cases, the hide was taken 
green, the hair removed, and a piece of the desired 
size was stretched upon a form, where it dried in 
the proper shape; and the rawhide product was 
practically indestructible. 

Among all tribes in whose neighborhood deer 
were found, the skins were dressed more or less as 
above, and the resulting buckskin was wonderfully 
soft and workable. From the far north to the ex- 
treme south this buckskin was the chief material used 
for clothing. The women of many tribes attained 
great skill in cutting and fitting, as well as in sewing 
the garments with sinew thread, which was the 
method universally practised. The typical man's 
clothing consisted of a breech-cloth, a hunting-shirt, 
leggings, and moccasins. The Indian woman wore 
a loose, short-sleeved upper garment, a waist-cloth 
or apron, leggings, and moccasins, the last two 
articles often being made in one piece. Young 
children usually went entirely naked. On the 
northwest coast, where the climate is wet and 
rainy, capes and aprons of woven cedar bark have 
been devised to meet the conditions. Among the 
Eskimo, where the climate necessitates the wearing 
of furs during a large part of the year, and where 
during the milder season the men are forced to be 


much in the water, a very efficient water-proof suit 
is made from the intestines of seals. 

The costume mentioned above as typical had 
nearly as many modifications as there were tribes. 
In certain parts of the far west the Indians wore 
practically nothing, and in Mexico elaborate dresses 
of different woven fabrics were in use. There was 
also great variety and magnificence in the differ- 
ent ceremonial costumes where symbolism had full 
sway. With the advent of the European and his 
manufactures, the clothing of the Indians has been 
affected along with the rest of his culture. The 
bead-work ornamentation, which is now regarded as 
peculiarly Indian, is of course a modern growth, 
though the designs may follow ancient motives. 
Embroidery with porcupine quills, which is still 
practised extensively in certain groups, was prob- 
ably the forerunner of this type of embellishment. 
In nearly all parts of the United States the native 
clothing has given place to that of the whites ; and 
it is only in the ceremonial costumes, where religious 
conservatism makes itself felt, that the Indian dress 
can be expected to survive for any time. 

Much has been written of the modes of hair- 
dressing, and the subject is worth mention. In 
the eastern states generally the men shaved the 
head, leaving a crest along the centre, with a long 
scalp-lock, which was braided and decorated with 
great care. The arrangement of the scalp - lock 
varied among different groups, but in one form or 


another it was found over the greater part of the 
United States except along the Pacific coast. Most 
of the plains tribes did not shave the head, but 
wore the hair either braided or flowing, but always 
with the scalp-lock in evidence. The southwestern 
Indians usually cut the hair straight across the fore- 
head in front and at the shoulders behind. 

The Indians were fond of bodily ornament both 
permanent and temporary; of the permanent form 
were the flattened heads and other deformations. 
Tattooing was much more widely practised among 
the western tribes than in the east, but it is im- 
possible to say what may have determined its 
presence or absence in a given group. In the ex- 
treme northwest, where it was more elaborate than 
elsewhere, the designs are often of a totemic or 
other symbolic character. In many regions, how- 
ever, the marks are simple lines and dots and 
evidently purely decorative in purpose. 

Labrets, or studs of bone, ivory, and wood, were 
worn in the lower lip by the Indians of the north- 
west coast, and the custom persists in an attenu- 
ated form among the Eskimo at the mouth of the 
Mackenzie River, by whom it was doubtless bor- 
rowed from Alaska. 1 The septum of the nose was 
pierced by some tribes, notably on the plateaus and 
the Pacific coast, and pendants of various forms 
were inserted. Ear ornaments of one form or 

1 Dall, " On Masks, Labrets, and Certain Aboriginal Customs 
(Bureau of Ethnology, Third Annual Report). 


another were worn nearly everywhere . The varieties 
of necklaces, armlets, and ornaments of that type 
are innumerable: shell, bone, teeth, and claws being 
the materials most in favor. 

Painting of the face and body was universal 
among the Indians, and was regarded as an indis- 
pensable adjunct to dress and adornment. The 
original pigments before the coming of the whites 
were red and yellow ochre, powdered charcoal, 
different earths, and the juices of many roots and 
plants. The two colors most in use were red and 
black. The application varied with the tribe as 
well as the occasion — every ceremonial required its 
particular form of painting, and every important 
event in the life of the individual was marked in 
the same way. 

An important branch of industrial art was 
pottery. Durable, water-tight vessels are conven- 
iences everywhere, and in some regions absolute 
necessities. It was probably then in response to a 
pressing condition of the environment that the 
potter's art reached its height in the arid regions of 
the southwest. The discovery of the process of 
pot-making was doubtless aided by the fact that 
in precisely that climate sun-dried clay would occur 
naturally and give the needed suggestion to the 
early inventor. The ruder examples of pottery are 
vessels modelled roughly and quickly with the fin- 
gers. Even the Eskimo had attained this knowl- 
edge, and mixed clay with blood and hair to form 


a primitive but serviceable lamp, which hardened 
quickly under its own heat. The crudely modelled 
type of pottery is found widely distributed in 
North America, though great areas of the north 
and west are destitute of even that. 

Among the tribes of the eastern woodlands, the 
gulf coast, and the southwest, pottery was seen at 
its best, and we may take the ware of the Pueblo as 
the most perfect type. The Indians had discovered 
that unmixed clay was brittle, and had devised the 
remedy as well; the Pueblo woman almost inva- 
riably introduces sand and powdered potsherds 
into her raw material ; and even the pottery 
of the ancient mounds of the Mississippi drain- 
age show T s that the clay was tempered by mixt- 
ure with mica, pulverized shells, and other ingre- 

Besides the simple modelling of the soft material, 
the commonest method of pottery making is by 
"coiling." The woman rolls out a long, slender 
fillet of clay varying in thickness according to the 
size of the vessel to be made. This strip is coiled 
on itself to form a disk and the bottom of the 
vessel. The edges are then curved upward and 
strip after strip added, each one slightly over- 
lapping the one next beneath until the desired size 
is reached. The rough surface is then smoothed 
out with the fingers or an appropriate instrument. 
Where the vessel is to be decorated, a slip or wash 
of fine clay mixed with water is often applied. The 


potters' wheel had never been invented by any 
people of the Western Hemisphere. 

The aesthetic value of Indian pottery is either in 
the form or the surface decoration. In the older 
examples from the mounds there appears to have 
been a tendency to model the vessels in imitation 
of natural forms — animals, men, and the like. In 
the southwest the artistic impulse finds its chief 
expression in the coloring and surface decoration, 
which latter is painted on and fixed by firing. 

Of textile industries basketry and matting are 
not only the most primitive, they are also the most 
wide-spread. In the study of savage technique bas- 
ketry has afforded the best basis for comparisons, 
and the distribution of types of manufacture and 
designs in this particular art in North America is so 
striking that much has been learned regarding the 
cultural relations of the Indian tribes from whom 
collections of basketry have been made. 1 The uses 
of basketry cannot be enumerated. It appears in 
every phase of the Indian's life; and being, in one 
form or another, distributed, over practically the 
whole of the continent, it may be regarded as one 
of the most significant objects of Indian industry. 

Woven and coiled basketry are the two types of 
technique, the former built on a warp foundation 
and the latter on a basis of rods or splints. Woven 
basketry is seen in its simplest form among the 

1 For an exhaustive and excellent account of Indian basketry, 
see Mason, Aboriginal American Basketry, 


tribes of the northeastern woodlands, where strips 
of some hardwood, of uniform width and thickness, 
are woven in a plain, checker-board pattern . As soon 
as the strips are varied in width and coloring the 
possible patterns are numerous and the beauty 
much increased. Such an advance is seen in the 
cedar -bark weaving of the north Pacific coast. 
The great variety in form and pattern which woven 
basketry presents in different parts of the country 
is brought about by the treatment of the warp and 
weft strands, as well as by the different materials 
and pigments employed. 

Coiled basketry is produced by sewing over a rod 
foundation with some flexible material, each stitch 
interlocking with the one beneath. This type is 
essentially a western and southwestern production. 

The art of weaving cotton and wool into cloth 
was also an Indian accomplishment. The looms 
were of a simple sort, but the product was often of 
remarkable fineness and beauty, as in the blankets 
of the Tlingit and Navajo and the cloths of Central 
and South America. 

It has already been noted that the exigencies 
of the food quest called for frequent changes of 
residence on the part of the Indian, and the journeys 
thus undertaken were often of considerable length. 
Modes of travel and means of transportation, there- 
fore, were not only a matter of concern to the Ind- 
ian himself, but are of interest as an additional 
expression of his adaptation to his environment. 


On land, the narrow trail worn by the travellers on 
foot and in single file was the line of communication 
from point to point; and south of the arctic the 
means of transporting goods was on the backs of 
men and women. The dog, as the only domesticated 
animal, gave some assistance. In the open country 
of the west he was harnessed to two trailing poles, 
and was thus able to drag loads of seventy-five to 
one hundred pounds; and when the horse arrived, 
the same device on a larger scale was employed 
and the process of moving greatly facilitated. 

Innumerable inventions were in use to lighten 
the labor of the human pack-animal. Baskets 
and receptacles of every kind, frames of various 
shapes were employed, but, above all, there was the 
" tump-line," or carrying-strap, which passed around 
the forehead or chest and supported the burden 
on the back. Snow-shoes are in use from the 
Eskimo domain to the latitude of the northern 
states. The size of the shoe and the fineness of the 
mesh increase as the temperature rises and the snow 
becomes softer and less compact. 

Among the Eskimo and certain tribes of the far 
north, where the snow is deep and lasts for many 
months of the year, sledges drawn by men and dogs 
are the means of transportation. The runners are 
of drift-wood or bone, and shod with walrus, ivory, 
or whalebone; and in order to make them glide 
still more smoothly, a thin coating of ice is allowed 
to form. The dog harness is simple but effective, 


and the thongs which draw the sledge are attached 
by a toggle which can readily be cast off. 

Travel by water saves much time and energy, 
and as a consequence navigation is practised by ev- 
ery known people. The typical boat of the Ameri- 
can Indian is undoubtedly the bark canoe, found 
at its best in the northeast, where the necessary ma- 
terials are plentiful and the demand for a portable 
craft is greatest. This canoe is built of several 
pieces of bark stretched over a frame of ribs and 
sewn together, as well as rendered water-proof at 
the seams with pitch. 

It is not known whether the Eskimo skin canoe 
is a derivation of the bark canoe or not, but it 
would seem plausible that he carried the notion 
with him from his more southern home, and met 
the difficulty of lack of bark by utilizing the skins, 
of which he had great plenty. The " umiak," or 
women's boat, among the Eskimo is a large, open 
affair, built somewhat on the lines of an Indian 
canoe, and is the craft which carries the women, 
children, and household effects whenever the sea 
is open. The "kayak," or hunting-canoe, which is 
strictly the man's type, is entirely covered with skin, 
except for the small opening where the paddler sits. 

Another type of skin boat is the coracle, or "bull 
boat," made by certain tribes of the plains and 
mentioned in the chapter descriptive of that group. 1 
It was constructed of a buffalo hide stretched over a 

1 See above, chap. ix. 


frame- work of poles, and though a clumsy, unwieldy 
craft, was a great aid in ferrying the Indians across 
such wide streams as the Missouri. 

The dugouts are characteristic of the northwest 
Pacific and southeast Atlantic coasts, but reached 
their highest development in the former region. 
While difficult for the uninitiated to manage, and 
of no use where portages are frequent, the Indian 
skilled in their navigation can handle them with 
surprising ease and quickness. 

The universal means of propulsion is the paddle. 
Oars were probably known to the Eskimo alone of 
all American peoples, and the culture of that race 
is constantly under the suspicion of having been 
affected by contact with Europeans. Sails of woven 
cedar bark from five to ten feet square were in com- 
mon use along the north Pacific coast, where sea 
navigation was common and the wind could be 
utilized to great advantage. These primitive sails 
seem to have been used only with fair winds, as 
there was no device for shifting them after they 
had once been set. 

The great obstacles to inland canoe navigation, 
the portages, have been discussed in an earlier 
chapter. 1 We need only emphasize once more the 
great importance of the Indian carrying-places in 
marking out the lines along which communication 
took place between the tribes and subsequent 
population tended to flow. 

1 See above, chap. ii. 


Of an importance second to none were the 
methods of obtaining fire. 1 The great use of fire 
is of course for cooking, but light and heat become 
conditions of necessity in certain climates, and we 
find the Eskimo with their lamps, the northwestern 
Indians with their torches of candle -fish, and the 
eastern tribes with their blazing pine-knots making 
an attempt at illumination ; and wherever fuel per- 
mitted, the burning fire became the centre of family, 
clan, and tribal life. 

The simplest device for fire-making is the well- 
known "fire-drill," which is a vertical wooden rod 
twirled in a horizontal piece of dry wood. The 
friction produces a fine dry -wood dust which pres- 
ently ignites from the heat, and by gentle treat- 
ment the spark is transferred to some inflammable 
material held ready for the purpose. The com- 
mon method of operation is to twirl the upright or 
"spindle" between the palms of the hands, while 
the horizontal piece or "hearth" is held firmly on 
the ground by the knee or foot. This invention 
is found everywhere in North America, and w T as 
used with great facility by all Indians. Improve- 
ment in the apparatus was made by certain tribes 
by winding a cord once or twice around the upright 
and pulling it back and forth, thus creating a rapid 
and even rotary motion which hastened the result. 

1 Hough, " Fire-Making Apparatus," U. S. National Museum, 
Report, 1888, pp. 531-588; ibid., 1890, pp. 395-409; Mason, 
Origins of Invention, 84. 


Both hands being needed to operate the cord, 
several devices were made to keep the upright in 
place and still permit the work to be done by one 
individual. The Eskimo method was to hold in 
the mouth a bone or ivory socket into which the 
upper end of the spindle fitted and which held it in 
place while allowing it to rotate freely. Another 
way out of the difficulty was to attach the cord to 
a curved stick like a bowstring and work this back 
and forth or up and down, both of which actions 
can be carried out with one hand, leaving the other 
free to hold the spindle in position. The former 
of these methods is known as the bow - drill, the 
latter as the pump-drill. Both devices were used 
for boring holes in different materials by simply 
placing a hard, sharp point on the spindle. The 
pump is specifically a southwestern contrivance, 
though it has been reported among Indians of the 

Fire-making by "ploughing" was also practised 
by some tribes, and consists in running the up- 
right rapidly back and forth in a groove of its own 
making, and producing a dust which is then treated 
in exactly the same way as in the case of the drill. 
The Eskimo and northern Indians had also dis- 
covered that sparks and fire could be obtained by 
percussion, and made use of two pieces of pyrites, or 
of pyrites and flint, in exactly the same way that 
civilized man formerly operated with flint and steel. 

The organization and distribution of the Indians 


resulted in a continual state of war. Even* tribe 
was practically at war with every other with which 
there was not an express treaty of peace. It is not 
strange then that the military virtues came to hold 
the highest place in the popular regard. To die in 
battle was glorious ; bravery, strength, and skill gave 
the most envied positions to their possessors, and 
cowardice was everywhere execrated. It was an 
easy matter to arouse the warlike enthusiasm of the 
boy, and among most tribes his early training was 
directed chiefly to that end. The child's toys were 
miniature weapons, and the games were usually 
contests which practised the boys in their use. 

The most widely distributed implements of war 
were the bow and arrow, and were found everywhere. 
The bow was made of the toughest, most elastic 
wood to be found in the vicinity of the maker, and 
in a few places a capable substitute was found in 
horn. In the extreme north, where growing wood 
was scarce, drift-wood was utilized and strengthened 
by a backing of sinew. The use of sinew as a 
reinforcement was seen at its best among the 
northwestern tribes, where it was shredded out and 
applied by means of fish or other animal glue, with 
such skill that the union with the wood appears 
complete. The length and form of the bow varied 
with the locality. It was usually short, however, 
not much over three feet as a rule. Bows manu- 
factured from the horns of buffalo and mountain- 
sheep were occasionally used by tribes of the plains 

VOL. II. — 16 


and the plateaus. The ordinary bowstring was of 
sinew, twisted and braided to a point of great 

As much care and attention were given to the 
arrow as to the bow. The shaft was of hard wood 
or cane, the point of stone, flint, obsidian, or jasper 
(in more modern days of iron or glass), and the 
arrow was tipped with eagle feathers. Poison was 
sometimes applied to the points. 

The hatchet or tomahawk was a characteristic 
weapon of the Indians, except in the far north, 
and was especially in favor in the east, where the 
forest made hand-to-hand fighting a constant 
necessity. The tomahawk came to be used as a 
symbol of war, and in many tribes was constructed 
so as to form a pipe as well, and as such was em- 
ployed in many ceremonies. 

Short lances or javelins were used in Mexico and 
on the Pacfic coast, as well as by the Eskimo. 
Their efficiency was increased by the "throwing 
stick," which gave a much longer range than could 
be reached by hand. War-clubs were used every- 
where, and knives or short cutting weapons of vari- 
ous sorts were also universal. 

Thrusting-lances or spears were apparently not 
common, though they were used extensively by the 
tribes of the plains, whose battles were waged on 
horseback. These Indians also made use of shields, 
light but tough affairs of rawhide, which were 
mainly for parrying the opponent's lance. Much 


attention was given to the decoration of these 
shields, the designs being symbolic and of a deep 
religious significance to the owners. Other de- 
fensive armor was practically confined to the 
Pacific coast and the plateaus, where a cuirass of 
wooden slats or sticks was the means of protection. 
Thick hide was also used in some places. 

Military art can hardly be said to have existed. 
Besides the natural advantages of land formations, 
fortifications consisted only of stockades, or occa- 
sionally of a rampart of earth reinforced by a ditch. 
Campaigns were little more than sudden raids 
carried out by small bodies of warriors brought 
together for the particular occasion. Surprises and 
ambuscades were the limit of the Indian devices. 
Massacre without mercy was the rule, though 
prisoners were sometimes taken, and either put to 
death at some later time or adopted into the tribe 
of the captors, or made slaves, as the case might be. 
Adoption following capture was much more com- 
mon among the tribes of the eastern woodlands 
than in other parts of the continent; and slavery, 
as has been shown, was more prevalent in the 
extreme west than elsewhere. 

Torture of prisoners was also more common in the 
east, but even there was not as general as is pop- 
ularly supposed. Selected individuals were taken 
for the purpose, and there was usually a religious 
motive behind the practice. It was also a custom 
in many tribes to eat the flesh of one of the victims 


after a victory. This was done with the idea of 
assimilating the powers and desirable qualities of 
the slain, and was as far as the practice of canni- 
balism ever went. 

Scalping was a custom over the whole continent 
north of Mexico, except at certain points on the 
Pacific slope and among the Eskimo. The chief 
value of the scalp was as a trophy and proof of the 
warrior's prowess, though there was also, probably, a 
deeper reason behind the custom. The possession of 
the scalp may have signified a certain power over 
the soul of the victim, in a way analogous to similar 
customs in other parts of the world. Scalps were 
variously worn and displayed by the takers, and 
often figured in religious ceremonials. 

Among many Indians, notably in the middle west, 
a warrior's reputation rested upon the number of 
"coups" which stood to his credit in the records 
of the tribe. A coup was a deed of special prowess, 
and the particular acts which enabled a man to 
count coup were definitely laid down and universally 
recognized. The most usual acts which carried the 
privilege were killing and scalping an enemy, being 
the first to touch an enemy in an attack, rescuing 
a wounded fellow, and stealing a horse from the 
enemy's camp. 

The organization of a campaign was usually 
informal in its beginning. An individual would 
announce his intention to conduct a raid and ask 
for volunteers to accompany him. His success in 


mustering a band would naturally depend upon his 
reputation as a warrior and his powers of persuasion. 
It must be remembered that all military service was 
everywhere voluntary, the only force compelling 
an unwilling man to join a war-party being public 
opinion and the dread of being considered a coward. 
Among the more highly organized tribes and con- 
federacies extensive campaigns for purposes of 
defence were decided upon by the tribal or con- 
federation council, and the execution of the decision 
was left to the recognized war-chief or chiefs, but 
even in such cases the service of the individual was 
voluntary. Occasionally war would be declared 
with considerable formality, and notice sent by 
means of belts or symbolic objects, and treaties of 
peace were made and sealed in the same way. 
The authority of the leader was vague, though 
usually recognized while the campaign was in 
progress. Punishment for disobedience was seldom 
anything more than expulsion from the band and 
ridicule at the hands of the women and children 
upon the culprit's return home. 

Before leaving on the war-path a dance was par- 
ticipated in by the intending warriors, the obvious 
purpose being to inflame their passion and increase 
their enthusiasm ; and upon the return from a suc- 
cessful raid, dances and ceremonies of celebration 
and thanksgiving were held, and often developed 
into the wildest orgies. 

While the wars of the Indians among themselves 


were constant they were usually on a small scale. 
Nevertheless, the formation of confederacies brought 
about a condition which united large bodies of men, 
and sometimes produced active hostilities of such 
magnitude and duration that they exerted a pro- 
found influence on the distribution of the tribes. 
Such, for example, was the effect of the Iroquois 
League, whose struggle with surrounding Algonquian 
tribes lasted for centuries and determined the native 
occupancy of the entire northeastern portion of the 
United States. The same was true of the Creek 
confederacy in the southeast; while the Cherokee 
were strong enough in themselves to form a barrier 
to all encroachment. The Sioux or Dakota con- 
federacy was the dominant power in the middle 
west and completely controlled the northern por- 
tions of the great plains. The tribes of the Pacific 
slope were more sedentary and less warlike than 
those of the east, and their wars were probably 
always of a petty sort. In the south the Aztec 
confederacy conducted elaborate campaigns and 
held permanent sway. 

It is quite evident that the two chief incentives 
to war among the Indians were defence and revenge. 
Disputes regarding the indefinite territory between 
recognized tribal limits were also a fruitful cause 
of hostilities, the Indian violently resenting any 
encroachment upon what he regarded as his own 
province. Offensive campaigns were sometimes 
undertaken as preventive measures to anticipate 


attacks and to inspire fear, and thus to insure free- 
dom from outside interference. Whatever the ex- 
citing cause of actual hostilities, when once begun 
it was difficult to bring them to a close. The 
universal law of blood revenge demanded satisfac- 
tion for every death, and a retaliatory act simply 
shifted the side of the obligation, so that, unless 
an understanding was reached, the only outcome 
was mutual extinction. This principle undoubtedly 
lay at the root of much of the Indian warfare. 

With the coming of the whites the entire aspect 
changed. The common enemy encouraged inter- 
tribal alliances before undreamed of, as was shown 
in many of the early struggles between the colonists 
and the Indians in New England and other parts of 
the east. Rapid and violent shiftings of location 
were also necessitated by the new pressure, and 
these met determined resistance from the occupants 
of the territory which was thus invaded. Coalitions 
with the whites were sought as a means of success- 
fully dealing with Indian enemies, and the more 
effective weapons thus obtained added to the de- 
structiveness of the wars. The history of the Indian 
tribes since the arrival of Europeans is the history 
of constant struggle, movement, and change, and 
still remains to be written. 



IT has come to be generally recognized that the 
universal characteristic of religion in its more 
primitive expression is a belief in spirits. The 
conceptions which underlie the beliefs are usually 
crude but none the less distinct. This animism, to 
use the convenient term now commonly employed, 1 
is variously expressed in beliefs and consequent rites 
and ceremonies. Among the American Indians, who 
are no exception to the rule, the animistic con- 
ception includes all nature. Every individual, ev- 
ery animal, every object, every concrete phenom- 
enon has its soul or spirit. In the case of men 
and lower animals these souls are regarded as ex- 
isting after the death of the body, and hence there 
has arisen a vast collection of souls or spirits with- 
out bodies, which take an interest in worldly affairs 
and are capable of interfering to the advantage or 
detriment of mankind. The supplication and pro- 
pitiation of these spirits in their various forms and 
functions constitute the religious ceremonials of the 

1 Cf. Tylor, Primitive Culture, I., 425 

i 9 oo] INDIAN RELIGION 249 

There is a difficulty in analyzing the beliefs which 
underlie such outward manifestations, because the 
religion of the Indian is interwoven with every other 
phase of his life. It is impossible, for example, to 
disentangle the religious from the social aspect of 
totemism, or the religious from the aesthetic in art. 
The two sets of ideas are in every case inevitably 
and inextricably associated and the exact delimita- 
tion of either is impossible. 

To the mind of the Indian anything which was 
strange was " mystery," and to " mystery" was re- 
ferred in all the languages, everything incompre- 
hensible. This is the meaning of the word "mani- 
tou," of Algonquian origin, now so widely used for 
corresponding conceptions throughout the tribes of 
the continent. Primarily an adjective, it has come 
to be employed as a noun, and spirits are called 
"manitous" as personifications of this quality. As 
a matter of course, some of these spirits are more 
powerful than others, and there are, therefore, 
grades of manitous, and sometimes one in par- 
ticular, who will be venerated or feared more than 
any other. There is not, however, any conception 
of an all-powerful deity or "great spirit." 

It was the misapprehension of the character of 
the manitou by the early missionaries and observers, 
and their tendency to read their own ideas into 
the Indian religions, that gave rise to the error. 
The particular manitou which would hold the first 
place in any given group was naturally determined 


by the general mode of life. Among the plains 
Indians the spirit of the buffalo was the one to be 
considered above all others ; while among other tribes 
the sun, rain, spirits of various crops, etc., were the 
powers to be propitiated. In the cult of these great 
or class manitous the tribal rites and ceremonies 
developed, reaching the elaboration already de- 
scribed in preceding chapters. They were charac- 
terized by dancing and symbolic dramatic per- 
formances of great complexity, often lasting for 
weeks. Hysterical manifestations of all sorts were 
usual and the excitement was often intense. In- 
toxicants and narcotics were employed to aid in the 
production of the nervous state, which was regarded 
as indispensable for intimate association with the 
spirits. These dances were usually invocations for 
abundant harvests, for rain, for success in hunting 
or war, or were festivals of thanksgiving for favors 
already bestowed. In the more highly developed 
of the ceremonials the custom of sacrifice had been 
introduced, reaching in Mexico a point where human 
beings were made the victims. 

The religious customs relating to death and burial 
form a class by themselves, but are based upon the 
same animistic ideas which underlie all the religious 
beliefs. The soul of the dead man was believed 
to exist after death and to have needs similar to 
those of the body in life ; consequently, offerings of 
all sorts were made at the grave, which could be 
utilized by the soul in its spirit life. A curious 

i 9 oo] INDIAN RELIGION 251 

conception of a multiplicity of soul was also present 
in some of the tribes. Each individual was believed 
to be animated by several spirits which had differ- 
ent functions after death. One, for example, would 
remain near the body, one would haunt the village, 
one would go to the land of the dead, the so-called 
"happy hunting-grounds," etc. 

Methods of burial were many and various. Graves, 
stone-pits or cists, caves, or huts were used by 
many tribes. Mummification was practised in some 
regions, and cremation was also employed by certain 
groups. An interesting mode in fairly common use 
was the disposal of the corpse in a tree or on a scaf- 
fold, and in some cases the body was exposed to be 
devoured by beasts and birds. No matter what the 
method might be, it was carried out with rigid cere- 
mony and the most religious care. 

One of the most important practices, if not 
the fundamental religious custom of the Indian, 
was the acquisition of a personal protecting spirit 
or manitou by the individual. 1 The details of the 
methods by which this supernatural helper was ob- 
tained varied from tribe to tribe, but the essential 
features remained the same. The individual who thus 
put himself in an especially close relation with a 
spirit became a shaman or medicine-man, and the 
more powerful his protecting manitou the more 
powerful was the shaman. Among certain tribes, as 
in the northwest, almost any one could, with per- 

1 See above, chap. viii. 


sistence, acquire one of these guardian spirits ; while 
in other regions comparatively few were favored, 
and the successful ones were proportionally feared 
and respected. 

In this communication with the spirits the shaman 
obtained by practice and piety great influence over 
them, and was therefore the person called in to ex- 
pel a spirit of illness from an invalid or to conduct 
a ceremony of wider import. The procedure in the 
cure of sickness was much the same in all parts of 
the continent. The shaman danced and sang his 
particular songs, performed various manipulations 
of a special and symbolic character, and thus forced 
the spirit of the disease to leave the body of the 
sick person. The successes were surprisingly num- 
erous, for the Indian is markedly hysterical in 
temperament, and suggestion has in him a most 
favorable soil on which to operate. Failures were 
easily explained by the counter influences of hostile 
spirits or shamans. A few striking cures would of 
course add to the effectiveness of all future sugges- 
tive treatments, and particular shamans in this way 
gained reputations which spread far beyond the 
borders of their own tribes. 

In most of these cases the shaman was guided 
and assisted by his own particular supernatural 
helper. Some shamans would acquire more than 
one guardian, and with time would come to stand 
in a particularly close relation with the spirit world 
in general. They would then possess rather the 

i 9 oo] INDIAN RELIGION 253 

character of priests, though the essentials of their 
equipment were still strictly those of the primitive 
shaman or sorcerer. In the carrying out of elabo- 
rate ceremonies, like those of the southwest, or- 
ganization was necessary, and there arose shaman- 
istic societies or brotherhoods which gained great 
power and influence. These societies were often 
secret in character, which increased their popular 

The character of the chief ceremonials of the 
Indians has been referred to in the various de- 
scriptive chapters. The most elaborate of these 
ceremonies are in the southwest, and it is possible 
to trace a gradual modification from that region as 
a base. Passing north over the great plains the 
importance and complexity of the religious rites 
are still great, but become progressively less, until 
the elaborate ceremonies disappear in the forests of 
the north. Tracing the characteristics eastward 
along the gulf coast we find the green-corn dance 
playing an all important role in the lives of the 
southeastern tribes, but its complexity is not to be 
compared with that of similar ceremonies in the 
Pueblo region, and it decreases as the northern 
tribes are reached. 

Northwest from the Pueblo the plateau tribes 
exhibit little that even remotely suggests the cere- 
monies of the southwest ; and in California a sim- 
ple type also exists, though more intricate than 
on the plateaus. A certain amount of contact be- 


tween California and the southwest is undeniable. 
The north Pacific coast has its distinctive religious 
rites, just as it is peculiar in its other phases of 
culture. The underlying ideas are not, however, 
essentially different from those of the rest of the 
continent. There is, then, a progressive simplifica- 
tion northward, but whether the process has been 
one of degeneration in that direction or of elabora- 
tion in the other it is impossible to say. The 
sun-dance and similar rites of the plains, and the 
green -corn dance of the southeast, give the im- 
pression of degeneration; but beyond that there is 
little to indicate the direction of development. 

Certain religious movements of a relatively new 
character occur from time to time and demon- 
strate the extreme suggestibility of the Indian, 
which has been mentioned above. These upheavals 
usually follow the appearance of a prophet, and 
often spread over vast areas and include diverse 
stocks. The ghost -dance religion, which has swept 
the west in recent years, is a good example of such 
movements. They are usually characterized by a 
Messianic idea which is especially strong in Indian 

The mythology of the Indians is voluminous and 
interesting. It is also important as affording the 
most available means of tracing contact and inter- 
communication between tribes and stocks. The most 
wide-spread and characteristic myths are those re- 
lating to the genesis of the tribes and their trans- 

i 9 oo] INDIAN RELIGION 255 

formation from an early condition of misfortune 
and misery to a better state. Creation myths as 
such can hardly be said to exist, though in California 
and a few other regions stories are told which 
might properly come under that term. The usual 
genesis myth is of a period when the earth was 
wholly different from what it is now. People ex- 
isted then, but not in their present form. There 
was no particular differentiation between men and 
animals. People were ignorant, poor, and miserable, 
and the world was harried by monsters with which 
the people could not cope. There was no daylight 
and no fire and no knowledge of the arts. It was a 
period pre-eminently of mystery and magic. 

In this world of mystery appears the transform- 
er or wanderer or culture hero, as he is variously 
termed, who travels about working wonders, chang- 
ing the existing order of things, and bringing affairs 
more or less into the condition in which they are at 
present. The account of the transformer's journeys, 
adventures, and achievements is the typical Indian 
myth, and usually forms a cycle about which the 
other stories cluster. There is usually an intro- 
duction treating of the birth and early life of the 
transformer, and this is followed by the history of his 
deeds, which forms the main part of the myth. 
After his work is ended the transformer disappears 
in a miraculous manner, or is turned into stone, or 
terminates his career in some extraordinary way. 
His return is confidently expected by the Indians, 


and it is this Messianic doctrine which gives the 
numerous Indian prophets their main hold and 
influence. In many tribes there are several trans- 
formers, who appear successively but whose func- 
tions are similar. 

It is this being who is the great hero of the Indians 
and who was the great spirit or manitou to whom 
the early writers so frequently refer. A puzzling 
incongruity in his character is the fact that he is 
almost invariably a trickster and one who gains 
his ends by petty and despicable means. While 
usually triumphant in his various encounters, he is 
nevertheless often worsted or made ridiculous. In 
short, he is not at all the venerable personage one 
might expect. 

Two explanations have been offered to account 
for this psychological incongruity, neither of which 
is sufficient. One holds that the buffoonery and 
trickery are late introductions and that the present 
myths are in a state of degeneration from a higher 
and purer form ;* and the other that the transformer 
devises the arts and obtains the benefits for his own 
ends, to assist him in his own difficulties, and that 
man is only incidentally the beneficiary; and that 
the Indian feels himself under no obligation to 
venerate, the transformer, since the latter had no 
altruistic purpose in mind. 2 With regard to the 

1 Brinton, Myths of the New World. 

'Boas, in introduction to Teit, Thompson River Indian Tra- 

i 9 oo] INDIAN RELIGION 257 

first theory, that of degeneration, there is not the 
slightest evidence of such a lowering in the majority 
of the myths; and in reply to the last it may be 
said that in many, if not most, of the transformer 
stories the hero does bestow his favors for the 
express benefit of mankind, and for no other ap- 
parent reason. In other words, the incongruity 
still remains a problem. 

An immense number of stories are also told which 
usually have to do with the animals in the days 
when they lived and acted like men; and these 
myths supplement the transformer cycles in the 
explanation of present conditions. Natural phe- 
nomena, social institutions, customs and ceremonies 
of all sorts are thus accounted for, and in the re- 
hearsal of the myths the children were instructed 
and trained in the rules and duties which awaited 
them as adult members of society. Many of the 
elements in these myths can be traced from tribe 
to tribe for immense distances, some stories being 
found in practically every corner of North America. 
Some of these coincidences may doubtless be ac- 
counted for by independent growth under the in- 
fluence of similar psychological conditions; but in 
other cases dissemination from a common source is 
the only reasonable explanation. 

It is to be expected that the aesthetic 'expression 
of the Indian will vary with the environment, and 
that different types of art will develop in dif- 
ferent areas. In decorative art it is natural that a 

VOL. II. — 17 


pottery-making group, for example, should possess 
a type of decoration and design sharply differenti- 
ated from that in use where pottery is unknown. 
There is nevertheless a wide distribution of certain 
types of design which requires notice. 

Primitive art in general serves a useful as well 
as a strictly aesthetic end, and the fact that orna- 
mentation, apparently purely decorative, often has 
a significance of another sort is now universally 
recognized. The development of geometrically sym- 
metrical patterns from pictorial designs has been 
much discussed in recent years, and the art of the 
American Indian is a good example of the process. 
In many cases the realistic element in the patterns 
is no longer traceable, while the design yet carries a 
meaning easily recognized by the native. This 
symbolic character of Indian art is its most strik- 
ing feature. In many cases the symbolism is un- 
doubtedly read into the design, while in others it 
has developed through a gradual course of con- 
ventionalization . 

The art of the west is much richer than that of 
the east, and it is on the north Pacific coast, the 
plains, and in the southwest that we find the most 
considerable aesthetic development. The north- 
west coast art is unique. It exhibits itself both in 
carving and in painting, as well as, to some extent, in 
weaving. In this region realism is never entirely 
lost sight of, and in the portrayal of animals, which 
form their motives, a certain resemblance is always 

1 9 oo] INDIAN RELIGION 259 

discernible. Conventional modifications have nat- 
urally arisen, and strict rules which the artist may 
not transgress in his creation seem to have been 
developed. In a word, the aim of the north Pacific 
decoration seems to be to portray as much of the 
pattern animal as possible; and in order to accom- 
plish this, the method employed is such dissection 
and distribution of the parts as may be necessary. 

South of Vancouver Island and east of the coast 
mountains the type of decorative art changes com- 
pletely. New motives are introduced and geometri- 
cal designs are substituted for the type just described. 
On the plateaus and in California basketry is the 
chief vehicle of decoration, and plants, artificial 
objects, and geographical features offer most of the 
suggestions for designs. The decorative art of the 
eastern tribes was meagre, and practically nothing 
is known of its significance. 

On the plains the decorative impulse expends 
itself mainly on the rawhide parfleches and in 
bead -work, the designs in both fields having a 
symbolic and often intricate character. The point 
of interest here is the variation in method of inter- 
pretation of designs of the same general type. In 
each group the symbolism seems to be determined 
by the mental character of the people, and we find 
religious, military, hunting, or industrial interpreta- 
tions as the case may be. In the southwest the 
opportunities are more numerous, pottery, basketry, 
and blankets offering a field for artistic creation 


which has produced a rich variety in expression. 
Little is known of the meanings of these patterns, 
but the symbolism is probably mainly religious. 

In the personal decorations used in dances and 
ceremonials of all sorts much ingenuity is displayed, 
and as these performances are for the most part 
dramatic in character the dress and decoration 
usually indicate a particular mythological being 
whom the actor is impersonating. In this way has 
grown up the use of the grotesque masks of the 
northwest and the bizarre decorations and disguises 
of the plains and the southwest. 

The most immediate expression of aesthetic im- 
pulse is probably the dance, and the passion with 
which primitive peoples indulge in this form of 
excitement is well known. The variety of Indian 
dances is of course very great and they cannot be 
described in detail. The influence of the dance, 
however, in bringing a group of individuals under 
the sway of a single emotion with their energies 
directed towards a single end, as in the war-dance, 
and its consequent importance as a social factor, 
can easily be imagined. 

Indian music is distinguished by rhythm, often 
extremely complex, rather than by melody. In- 
strumental music is little more than the beating of 
time in accompaniment to the songs. The ritualistic 
songs are usually long chants or recitatives rehears- 
ing the traditions or myths connected with the 
particular ceremony. Songs of war, love, ridicule, 

os erre 

rag jn sc *v ^%°«aa e / 

111' Lnn-ilU 




i 9 oo] INDIAN RELIGION 261 

and those which accompany gambling and the 
incantations of shamans are the main forms besides 
the religious chants. Musical instruments are limit- 
ed to drums of various sorts, whistles, and rattles. 
It is evident from the preceding survey of Indian 
sociology, religion, and art that these three aspects 
of their life are always interwoven. It is impossible 
to interpret the expressions of any one of them 
except in the light of the others. While this close 
association of divergent classes of ideas is charac- 
teristic of lower levels of culture in all parts of the 
world, it comes out with exceptional clearness in 
North America, and is the most striking charac- 
teristic of Indian psychology. 




THE most striking facts with regard to the 
American Indian are his physical -uniformity 
and his cultural diversity. In physical type the 
differences which characterize the tribes are slight, 
when compared with the common features of the 
natives of both North and South America. The 
causes of such physical variations as do appear must 
be sought in the causes of zoological variation every- 
where, and it is impossible to come to a conclusion 
as to the exact and immediate influences. 

Environment and mode of life, moreover, so 
affect physical types that when a general truth 
seems to emerge, a contradictory fact is sure to be 
forthcoming. The Eskimo of the arctic are usually 
cited, for example, as proofs of the stunting effects 
of excessively rigorous climate and life, and it is 
certainly true that as a rule they are undersized; 
but the Eskimo of the Mackenzie region are tall, 
active, and muscular, and remain so under exactly 
the same conditions as their shorter relatives, a 
local trait which may be of as much significance 



as the more general feature. It can hardly be a 
mere accident, however, that the tribes of the north- 
west coast are short and heavily built, while the 
Indians of the plains are tall and lithe. The sea- 
faring life of the former, which is spent mainly in 
canoes, and the active hunting and, in modern days, 
equestrian habits of the latter have undoubtedly 
contributed to the selection of the physique. The 
shape and dimensions of the skull, which are studied 
with great assiduity by anthropologists, indicate 
nothing striking with regard to the Indian; 1 he is 
ordinarily of the mesocephalic type, though ex- 
hibiting extremes of long-headedness and broad- 
headedness in special instances. 

Skull measurements are chiefly interesting as 
giving some information with respect to the brain 
within, and capacity is therefore of more significance 
than shape. The possible discrepancy, however, be- 
tween the size of the skull and that of the brain it 
contains is so great that examination of the brain 
itself is the only safe basis for conclusions. It is, 
therefore, unfortunate that thus far there is not a 
single authentic record of a North American Ind- 
ian brain ever having been scientifically examined. 
The indications from skull measurements would 
be that the Indian brain is, on the average, slightly 
smaller than that of the European, but any infer- 
ences with regard to consequent mental inferiority 
are unsafe. As a matter of fact, the evidence in 

1 See above, chap. x. 


the psychological field tends to show that such 
mental differences as occur are due to experience 
and environment rather than to innate differences 
of mental capacity. 1 

The common statement and popular belief that 
the Indian has senses more acute than the white 
man has been shown to mean nothing more than 
that the Indian is trained in certain fields of ob- 
servation, for wherever the European is practised 
under the same conditions he acquires the same 
skill as the native. The usual belief that Indian 
ethics and art are lower than those of the whites 
carries us no further, for in conformity to the 
standards which he recognizes, the Indian compares 
favorably with his white competitor. The few 
cases which have occurred in which an Indian has 
been entirely removed from his natural environ- 
ment at an early age and educated amid civilized 
surroundings seem to show no particular inferiority 
in mental capacity. 

Whatever the truth with respect to innate abil- 
ity, tradition and social environment are the de- 
termining forces in the expression of Indian char- 
acter as in that of all other races. It is hard to 
understand the numerous misconceptions in even 
the educated mind with regard to Indian character 
and habits. Probably the commonest conception 
of the Indian is of a grave, gloomy, taciturn, and 

1 Boas, " The Mind of Primitive Man " (Science, N. S., XIII., 


sullen individual. On the contrary, he is in his 
ordinary life a cheerful, talkative, gossipy person, 
with a great fondness for society. It is a matter of 
Indian training and social convention to be dig- 
nified and deliberate on all occasions of a public 
character, and as meetings with whites have most 
frequently been of that nature, the popular error 
arose, and persists in spite of the abundant testi- 
mony to the contrary from competent observers. 

The stoicism with respect to pain which has been 
celebrated for centuries was simply another example 
of this conventional training. In his home life the 
Indian often exhibits the most childish behavior 
over physical pain, while he would submit to public 
torture without a moan. In his nervous make-up 
he is very hysterical, and the suggestive phenom- 
ena of religious excitements as witnessed in Indian 
gatherings are the counterparts of those seen on 
similar occasions among the negroes and certain 
elements of our own white population. 

It has already been remarked that this suggesti- 
bility is the secret of the success and influence of 
the medicine - man, or shaman. 1 It also explains 
the presence of many disorders admirably adapted 
to suggestive treatment. Many observers have re- 
marked the ease with which the Indian succumbs to 
disease and misfortune, and the hysterical tempera- 
ment is undoubtedly the chief factor in this weak- 

1 See above, chap. xvi. 


The lack of immunity against infectious and 
epidemic diseases must be laid to a different source. 
These come from the whites, and the Indians have 
not yet acquired the racial immunity. As a con- 
sequence, measles, scarlet - fever, and small - pox 
have a mortality among the aborigines which 
greatly exceeds that among the whites — a single 
epidemic of measles will sometimes almost extin- 
guish an Indian village or tribe. Whether or not 
epidemic diseases of any sort existed before the 
coming of the Europeans is doubtful. At the 
present time tuberculosis is creating havoc on 
many of the reservations, particularly on the 
Pacific slope, where the wet climate creates con- 
ditions favorable for its progress. In some tribes 
tuberculosis is so prevalent that practically every 
individual shows evidence of it. Syphilis and other 
venereal diseases also contribute to the deteriora- 
tion of many stocks. 

Another Indian trait which has been widely 
noted is hospitality. This was undoubtedly the out- 
come of the communal life where property was 
common and individual ownership hardly existed. 
The term is, therefore, somewhat misapplied, since 
food was regarded as free, and the individual owner 
nothing more than a custodian by force of cir- 

The misconception with regard to the position 
of woman has also been noticed. In tribes where 
the matriarchate was fundamental, as among the 


Iroquois, it is not strange that the woman should 
have demanded and received thorough recognition 
and respect; but it is noteworthy that in loosely- 
organized tribes, where the clan does not obtain, 
and where the will of the stronger male might be 
expected to operate as the only law, she also as- 
serts her rights with success. The applause of the 
women is often as much sought as the approval of 
the men, and an individual's social position can 
easily be made quite untenable by the opposition of 
the weaker sex. In general the highest ambition of 
the Indian is social regard and rank ; and ridicule and 
ostracism are correspondingly feared and avoided. 
It was this sensitiveness to public opinion which 
enabled the tribal and other councils to remain as 
successful instruments of government without the 
establishment of a recognized executive. 

These popular misconceptions are not merely 
of academic interest. They have played an im- 
portant part in the chapter of American history 
which covers the relations of the white man and his 
government towards the Indians. Leaving entirely 
out of account the dishonesty and oppression which 
have been too frequent in the administration of 
Indian affairs, the failure to understand and ap- 
preciate the workings of the Indian mind and the 
nature of many of his customs, has led to well -in- 
tended interference, which has often produced serious 
disturbance, unrest, and revolt. Such, for example, 
has been the history of the attempts of the United 


States to establish the ownership and succession of 
Indian lands. To impose a system of male inher- 
itance upon a group accustomed to reckoning de- 
scent through the mother is not only incompre- 
hensible but revolutionary, and inevitably meets 
with the stoutest resistance except from those who 
may be thereby unexpectedly benefited. The owner- 
ship of land in severalty is an idea repugnant as it is 
novel to many tribes, and, as experience has shown, 
is requiring generations of cautious management to 
bring about. 

Much undeserved censure has been imposed upon 
the Indian department of the government by en- 
thusiastic but badly informed friends of the aborig- 
ines. The difficulties of administration are enor- 
mous and are naturally not lessened by ignorance. 
Probably the most serious error, as it is the most 
difficult to avoid, is legislation for a heterogeneous 
population as if it were a homogeneous group. 
To apply the same rules and regulations to the 
Sioux as to the Zufii is as inadvisable as it is in 
practice impossible. Even the same stocks exhibit 
such wide differentiations in culture that linguistic 
relationship cannot be used to mark the limits of 
uniform groups for purposes of administration. 
When a family like the Shoshonean can exhibit such 
extremes as the degraded bands commonly known 
as "Digger Indians," and a people capable of such 
heights of development as the Aztec of Mexico, all 
principles of classification must give way to that of 


progress in culture, in devising means of dealing 
with the Indian problem of the day. 

The reservation method of handling the Indians 
was probably the only feasible one, but it has en- 
tirely changed the distribution of linguistic families. 
The disturbance has been much more marked in 
the east, where white immigration quickly crowded 
the territory, than in the west, where the Indians 
could be allowed to remain at least in the gen- 
eral neighborhood of their former seats. Most of 
the southeastern tribes were transferred bodily to 
Indian Territory, though in some cases small reser- 
vations were established near their old homes. In 
the west, reservations were formed at many different 
points ; and are being kept up as far as Indian ne- 
cessity demands and political pressure will permit. 

Of the Algonquian group, most of the eastern 
tribes have disappeared entirely. The Canadian 
tribes of this family have not suffered as did the 
representatives in the United States, and still remain 
fairly numerous. The great Ojibwa division has 
bands both in Canada and in several of the northern 
states of the middle west. The western representa- 
tives, the Blackfeet, Arapaho, and Cheyenne, are all 
on western reservations or in Indian Territory and 
Oklahoma. The remnants of the eastern and the 
central Algonquians are, for the most part, in the 
last-named territories. 

The Iroquoians, with the exception of the Cherokee, 
are divided between the United States and Canada. 


They have all adapted themselves measurably to 
the methods of civilized life. Reservations for some 
of the Six Nations were established in New York 
state, and are still kept up, while the remainder 
of the tribes are in Ontario, Wisconsin, and Indian 
Territory. The Cherokee, with the representatives 
of the Muskhogean family, the Creek, Choctaw, 
Chickasaw, and Seminole, make up the so-called 
civilized tribes in Indian Territory, and are all self- 
supporting and prosperous. 

The Siouan family occupies numerous reserva- 
tions in Wisconsin, Minnesota, North and South 
Dakota, Montana, Nebraska, Kansas, and Indian 
Territory, with a considerable number in Canada; 
they do not exhibit great adaptability to civilized 
life. The Athapascan Indians have remained com- 
paratively untouched in the far north; while the 
southern representatives, the Apache and Navajo, 
in Arizona, New Mexico, and Mexico, have been 
much in contact with Europeans. The Navajo are 
self-supporting and prosperous, but the Apache are 
still primitive in life, though of late years peace- 
ful enough in disposition. The Shoshonean tribes 
are distributed on reservations in Idaho, Utah, 
Nevada, California, and Arizona, with the Comanche 
in Indian Territory. The Pawnee are mainly in 
Indian Territory. The Pacific coast tribes, nearly 
all small and rapidly diminishing, are on numerous 
small reservations, usually near their original hab- 


The future of the Indians cannot be predicted 
with confidence. It has been shown that while de- 
creasing in numbers, the diminution is not rapid. 1 
It is quite conceivable, even if not probable, that 
more thorough adaptation to a civilized environ- 
ment might check the process of extinction and 
place the birth-rate higher than the death-rate. 
Absorption by the whites is regarded by many as 
the natural and ultimate outcome ; and the increas- 
ing number of mixed bloods on the reservations 
indicates such a possibility. The product of such 
mixture seems also to be well adapted to survive. 
There is no evidence that the often described 
undesirable qualities of the mixed blood are in- 
herent in the crossing, but in most cases they are 
traits fostered by the unfortunate social environ- 
ment in which such an individual finds himself. 
Virtually an outcast from both the higher and 
lower groups, it is not strange that the adult half- 
breed should exhibit questionable characteristics. 
The half-blood woman is also more prolific than the 
full -blood, which is a point of great significance in 
forecasting the future. In the light of the proc- 
esses now in operation, gradual absorption by the 
surrounding whites seems to be the Indian's most 
probable fate. 

1 See above, chap. vi. 



THERE are several trustworthy works describing the 
general physical features of North America. J. D. 
Whitney, The United States (1889), published in 
part in the ninth edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, 
is a comprehensive, authoritative account of the physical 
geography and material resources of that portion of the 
continent. N. S. Shaler, United States of America (2 vols., 
1897), by various authors, considers the economic develop- 
ment of the nation in relation to the natural resources, 
and will be found useful. Shaler's chapter on " Physiogra- 
phy of North America," in Justin Winsor, Narrative and 
Critical History of America, IV. (1884), is also good. 
The chapters on "North America" and "The United 
States," by W. M. Davis, in Mill, International Geography 
(1900), are admirable condensed descriptions, and em- 
phasize the relation of the physical features to the growth 
of population. J. B. Tyrrell's chapter on the "Dominion 
of Canada" in the same work is along the same lines. 
Most of the modern encyclopaedias also contain well- 
digested general accounts. On the subject of drainage, 
Israel Russell, Rivers of North America (1898), may be 
relied upon. The reports of the geological and other 
surveys of the United States government and of the several 



states are the great sources of information on special 
physiographic topics. 


On the general subject of the effect of geographical 
conditions on exploration and settlement in North America 
there are two books: E. C. Semple, American History and 
Its Geographic Conditions (1903), and A. P, Brigham, 
Geographic Influences in American History (1903). They 
are both good, the former emphasizing tne historical stand- 
point and the latter the geographical. F. Ratzel, Politische 
Geographie der Vereinigten Staaten von America (1903), 
should also be consulted. Archer Butler Hulbert, Historic 
Highways of America (11 vols., 1 902-1 904), offers much 
interesting information of a somewhat sketchy character 
regarding early routes of travel. The volumes thus far 
published are: I. Paths of the Mound-Building Indians and 
Great Game Animals (1902), II. Indian Thoroughfares 
(1902), III. Washington's Road (Nemacolin's Path) (1903), 
IV. Braddock's Road (1 90 3), V. The Old Glade (Forbes' 's) 
Road (1903), VI. Boone's Wilderness Road (1903), VII. 
Portage Paths (1903), VIII. Military Roads of the Mississippi 
Basin (1904), IX. Waterways and Western Expansion 
(1903), X. The Cumberland Road (1904), XI. Pioneer 
Roads and Experiences of Travellers (1904). The accounts 
of the early travellers and traders are the sources of in- 
formation regarding the routes of the north and northwest. 
Alexander Mackenzie, Voyages from Montreal to the Frozen 
and Pacific Oceans (1801), gives a good, detailed account 
of the fur-trader's routes from Montreal to Winnipeg. The 
Reports of the Geological Survey of Canada also contain 
much accurate information regarding the early trails and 
portages of that region. 

For the routes from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi, 
Justin Winsor, Mississippi Basin (1895), and J. G. Shea, 
Discovery and Exploration of the Mississippi (1853), in- 
dicate authorities, and the Jesuit Relations (Thwaites' 

VOL. II. 18 


ed., 1900) are full of indispensable information. Justin 
Winsor, C artier to Frontenac (1894) and Westward Move- 
ment (1898), are also very useful, and F. A. Ogg, The 
Opening of the Mississippi (1904), is a recent work of value. 
Special studies of importance are E. J. Benton, The 
Wabash Trade Route (1903), G. A. Baker, The St. Joseph- 
Kankakee Portage, and F. H. Severance, Old Trails on the 
Niagara Frontier (2d ed., 1903). The histories of Park- 
man and others indicate many of the more important 
routes in the regions, with the special history of which 
they deal. 

For the northern Appalachian routes, B. Willis, The 
Northern Appalachians (1895), is admirable. It is essen- 
tially a physiographic monograph, but considers historical 
relations and contains maps and diagrams. C. W. Hayes, 
The Southern Appalachians (1895), is a companion work 
to the preceding and is likewise excellent for the southern 
region. The majority of the important trails, portages, 
and passes of the east are dealt with in the numerous 
general histories of the colonies. For the south, besides 
the works of Hulbert, may be recommended T. Speed, 
The Wilderness Road (1886), and J. S. Johnston, First 
Explorations of Kentucky (1898). For the western routes 
the following works cover the ground: H. M. Chittenden, 
The American Fur Trade of the Far West (3 vols., 1902), a 
particularly good account of pioneer trading-posts in the 
Missouri Valley; E. Coues, History of the Lewis and Clark 
Expedition (4 vols., 1893), an authoritative account based 
on the journals of those explorers; H. Inman, The Old 
Santa Fe Trail (1897), a popular description of that route; 
J. C. Fremont, Narrative of Exploring Expedition to the 
Rocky Mountains, etc. (1846); W. H. Emory, Notes of 
a Military Reconnaissance from Fort Leavenworth in 
Missouri to San Diego in California (1848), an invaluable 
record of the work of the topographical engineers in their 
explorations in the Rocky Mountains and the southwest; 
and the historical works of H. H. Bancroft, History of 
California (7 vols., 1 884-1 890), History of the Northwest 

1580] AUTHORITIES 275 

Coast (2 vols., 1884), History of Oregon (2 vols., 1 886-1 888), 
and Arizona and New Mexico (1889). Francis Parkman, 
Oregon Trail (1872), is a fascinating account of the life 
along that route, and is fairly accurate. 


As general descriptive works on the flora of the continent, 
the following are recommended: C. S. Sargent, The Silva 
of N orth America (14 vols., 1891-1902) ; E. Bruncken, North 
American Forests and Forestry (1900) ; N. L. Britton and A. 
Brown, Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States and 
Canada (3 vols., 1896); J. K. Small, Flora of the South- 
eastern United States (1903). These are all authoritative. 
On the economic relations and value of the various agri- 
cultural products the publications of the United States 
Department of Agriculture are the best sources of in- 
formation. The Year-Book of the department, published 
annually since 1894, contains much condensed statistical 
information. The department also publishes special mono- 
graphic studies from time to time, of which the following 
are notable: The Cotton-Plant (1896); C. Mohr, The Timber 
Pines of the Southern United States (1897); V. M. Spalding 
and B. E. Fernow, The White Pine (1899); H. W. Wiley, 
The Sugar -Beet (1899). 


On the distribution of the fauna, the two chief authori- 
ties are J. A. Allen and C. H. Merriam. The most impor- 
tant of their papers are: J. A. Allen, ''The Geographical 
Distribution of North American Animals" (American 
Museum Natural History, Bulletin, 1892); C. H. Merriam, 
"The Geographic Distribution of Life in North America" 
(Biological Society, Proceedings, Washington, 1892); C. 
H. Merriam, "Laws of Temperature Control of the Geo- 
graphic Distribution of Terrestrial Animals and Plants" 
{National Geographical Magazine, TV., 1894); J. A. Allen, 


"The Geographic Origin and Distribution of North Amer- 
ican Birds." (The Auk, 1893). Good general works on 
American natural history are few. W. Stone and W. E. 
Cram, American Animals (1902), limited to mammals in 
its subject matter, and the latest work, W. T. Hornaday, 
The American Natural History (1904), are the best in the 
field. Hornaday is particularly good on mammals, but 
not so strong on the other orders. 

Of special studies, those on the bison and the fur-seal are 
the most important. J. A. Allen, "The American Bison, 
Living and Extinct" (Museum of Comparative Zoology, 
Memoirs, Cambridge, 1876), and W. T. Hornaday, "The 
Extermination of the American Bison" (National Museum, 
Report, 1889), contain most of the available information 
regarding the buffalo. David S. Jordan et al, Report of 
the Fur -Seal Investigation (4 vols., 1898), is a model of 
what such reports should be and is an exhaustive treatment 
of the whole subject. The best treatment of the deer is 
by Theodore Roosevelt and others, The Deer Family. 
The Reports of the United States Commission of Fish and 
Fisheries are recommended for information bearing on the 
economic value of the fisheries of the United States. 


The best bibliography of the extensive literature on 
this subject is that of Justin Winsor in his Narrative and 
Critical History of America, vol. I. (1889), excellent up to 
1889. Another useful but uncritical bibliography is by 
G. Fowke in his Archaeological History of Ohio (1902). 
The best general book on the subject is probably Cyrus 
Thomas, Introduction to the Study of North American 
Archceology (1898). H. W. Haynes, in Winsor, Narrative and 
Critical History of America, I., chap, vi., limits his discussion 
to the evidence as to man's antiquity. W. K. Moore- 
head, Prehistoric Implements (1900) is a good reference- 
book on the smaller objects which have been found. 

The best publications on American archaeology have 

1580] AUTHORITIES 277 

been monographs, and to the various writings of W. H. 
Holmes must be given the first place. These have ap- 
peared mainly under government auspices in Washing- 
ton. The recent works of C. B. Moore on the mounds of 
Florida and the southeastern states are also model studies. 
These and other researches will be found noted in the 
special bibliographies mentioned above. 


There is no satisfactory comprehensive work on the 
American Indians. D. G. Brinton, American Race (1891), 
covers the tribes of both continents, but is so condensed 
that many groups of importance are not noticed and many 
points of fundamental significance are not even considered. 
While systematic in form the treatment is discursive 
and unsatisfactory. It is nevertheless a work of great 
learning and will be found useful by the student. T. 
Waitz, Die Amerikaner, in his Anthropologie der Natur- 
volker, pt. iii. (1862), is out of date, but still remains 
one of the best books on the subject. G. B. Grinnell, 
Story of the Indian (1896), is based on personal obser- 
vations among the tribes of the west, but does not 
give a general survey. F. S. Dellenbaugh, North Ameri- 
cans of Yesterday (1901), is a pleasantly written, popu- 
lar work, but is unsystematic in treatment. The author 
has, however, utilized the results of modern research. 
A good brief review is the article, "Indians," in the New 
International Encyclopedia (1904), and the articles in the 
same work on the individual tribes are, in general, ex- 

The older works which attempt to treat the sub- 
ject in a general way are usually untrustworthy except 
where they relate to groups of which the authors had 
personal knowledge. The best -known books of this 
character are: J. Adair, History of the American Indians 
(1775), good for the southeastern tribes, but marred by 
certain absurd general theories; H. R. Schoolcraft, His- 


torical and Statistical Information Respecting the History, 
Condition, and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of the United 
States (185 1), and the same author's American Indians 
(1851), strongest for the Iroquois and eastern Algonquian 
Indians. G. Catlin, Letters and Notes on the Manners, 
Customs, and Condition of the North American Indians 
(1841), excellent for the tribes of the northern plains; 
J. L. McKenney and J. Hall, History of the Indian Tribes 
of North America (1836-1844); S. G. Drake, Aboriginal 
Races of North America (i860). Full references to the 
numerous other works of general scope will be found in 
Pilling, Bibliographies, noted below. For the last twenty- 
five years researches of great importance have been appear- 
ing, the bulk of which are contained in the Annual Reports 
of the Bureau of American Ethnology. This series will be 
found a storehouse of information on all subjects connected 
with the Indians, and while the value of the papers is very 
unequal they are in general well done. They will be re- 
ferred to more in detail below. 


The modern linguistic study of the Indians dates from 
the publications of Albert Gallatin issued at intervals 
from 1836 to 1853. A valuable bibliography of Gallatin 
and the authors who followed him in this field will be 
found in J.W. Powell, " Indian Linguistic Families" (Bureau 
of Ethnology, Seventh Annual Report, 1891). This paper 
of Powell's is the most important single publication on 
the subject which has yet appeared, its value resting largely 
on the linguistic map which accompanies it and which is 
reproduced in this volume. The best recent work on 
Indian languages has been done by A. S. Gatschet, J. O. 
Dorsey, and F. Boas, whose researches have been made 
chiefly under the auspices of the Bureau of Ethnology. 
Exhaustive linguistic bibliographies by J. C. Pilling have 
been issued by the same institution as follows: "Bibli- 
ography of the Eskimo Language" (Bulletin, 1887) ; " Bibli- 

1580] AUTHORITIES 279 

ography of the Siouan Languages" (Bulletin, 1887); Bibli- 
ography of the Iroquoian Languages" (Bulletin, 1888); 
"Bibliography of the Muskhogean Languages" (Bulletin, 
1889); "Bibliography of the Algonquian Languages" 
(Bulletin, 1891); "Bibliography of the Athapascan Lan- 
guages" (Bulletin, 1892); " Bibliography of the Chinookan 
Languages" (Bulletin, 1893) ; "Bibliography of the Salishan 
Languages" (Bulletin, 1893); "Bibliography of the Waka- 
shan Languages" (Bulletin, 1894). While Pilling 's bibli- 
ographies are primarily linguistic, they include references 
to nearly all the early works of general description and 
are quite indispensable to the student. 


The best of the early accounts of the Eskimo is D. 
Cranz, History of Greenland (2 vols., 1767; 2d ed., 1820). 
The book is written from the point of view of the mission- 
ary, but contains much shrewd and accurate observation. 
The best later works are: E. Petitot, Vocabulaire Francais- 
Esquimau (1876); H. Rink, Tales and Traditions of the 
Eskimo (1876), The Eskimo Tribes (1887); F. Boas, "The 
Central Eskimo " (Bureau of Ethnology, Sixth Annual 
Report, 1888); J. Murdock, "Ethnological Results of the 
Point Barrow Expedition" (Bureau of Ethnology, Ninth 
Annual Report, 1892); E. W. Nelson, "The Eskimo about 
Bering Strait " (Bureau of Ethnology, Eighteenth Annual 
Report, 1899). A full bibliography up to 1887 will be 
found in Pilling, Bibliography of the Eskimo Language. 


The literature on the North Pacific tribes has become 
quite extensive during recent years. This is largely due 
to the systematic observations which have been made by 
the British Association for the Advancement of Science. 
W. F. Tolmie and G. M. Dawson had previously published 
papers incidental to their geological work for the Canadian 


government, but the researches of F. Boas, under the 
auspices of the British Association, published in the 
Reports of that body (188 5- 1898), are the great sources of 
information. Other works of importance are: A. Krause, 
Die Tlinkit Indianer (1885); I. Petroff, Report on the 
Population, etc., of Alaska (1884); W. H. Dall, Alaska 
and Its Resources (1870); "The Distribution of Native 
Tribes of Alaska" (American Academy for the Ad- 
vancement of Science, Proceedings, 1870); F. Boas, Social 
Organization of the Kwakiutl Indians (1897), Indianische 
Sagen von der Nord-Pacif. Kiiste Amerikas (1895); A. P. 
Niblack, "The Coast Indians," etc. (United States Na- 
tional Museum, Report, 1898). 


The literature on the Indians of the northern interior 
is scanty. The best authority is E. Petitot, whose works — 
Grammaire comparee et Dictionnaire polyglotte des Dialectes 
Dene-Dindjie (1875), Monographic des Dene-Dindjie (1875), 
Ethnographie des Americains Hyperboreens (1878), and 
Traditions Indiennes du Canada Nordouest (1886) — contain 
much accurate description. Father Morice, who has 
published papers in the Transactions of the Canadian 
Institute and in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of 
Canada, is also a good first-hand authority. Of the early 
descriptions, S. Hearne, Journey from Prince of Wales 
Fort in Hudson Bay to the Northern Ocean (1795), is 
the best. Sir A. Mackenzie, Voyages from Montreal, etc. 
(1801), should also be read. 


For the Salishan tribes, J. A. Teit, The Thompson 
River Indians (1898), is the best source of information. 
This is an exhaustive monograph based on personal ob- 
servation, and is trustworthy. For the Shahaptian and 
neighboring stocks of the interior, the descriptions by 

1580] AUTHORITIES 281 

Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, contained in their 
Journal, and the books which emanated from their ex- 
pedition, are the sources of information with regard to the 
early conditions. P. J. de Smet, Letters and Sketches, etc. 
(1843), an d Oregon Missions and Travels (1847), are a l so 
of value. An excellent account of the distribution of the 
tribes of the Columbia basin will be found in J. Mooney, 
"The Ghost -Dance Religion" (Bureau of Ethnology, 
Fourteenth Annual Report, 1896). 


The reports of F. Boas to the British Association for the 
Advancement of Science, mentioned above, include ob- 
servations on the Indians of the coast of Washington and 
Oregon. The same author's Chinook Texts (1894) also 
contains general information of value. J. G. Swan, "The 
Indians of Cape Flattery" ^Smithsonian Institution, Con- 
tributions to Knowledge, 1869); M. Eels, "The Twana, 
Chemakum, and Klallam Indians of Washington Territory " 
(Smithsonian Institution, Reports, 1887); and G. Gibbs, 
"Tribes of Western Washington and Northwestern Oregon " 
{Contributions to North American Ethnology, 1887), are all 
works of importance. For the early condition of the 
Chinook in the lower Columbia, the reports of the Lewis 
and Clark expedition are the main sources. A. S. Gatschet, 
"The Klamath Indians of Southwestern Oregon {Con- 
tributions to N orth American Ethnology, 1890), is an excel- 
lent study of the Klamath and Modoc tribes. Modern 
research in California is all based on the classical 
work of S. Powers, "Tribes of California" {Con- 
tributions to North American Ethnology, 1877). H. H. 
Bancroft, The Native Races of the Pacific States (5 vols., 
187 4- 1882), is also a standard work. Two institutions — 
the American Museum of Natural History and the Uni- 
versity of California — are now carrying on systematic 
researches among the Indians of California, and .the 
results are appearing in their regular publications. At- 


tention should also be called to the work of H. Hale on 
the languages of the Pacific coast, in connection with the 
United States Exploring Expedition under Wilkes, pub- 
lished in vol. VI. of the Report of that expedition (1846). 


The literature on this region is now extensive. The 
best work on the Siouan family has been done by J. O. 
Dorsey, whose most important papers are, "Omaha 
Sociology " (Bureau of Ethnology, Third Annual Report, 
1885), "The Cegiha Language" (Contributions to North 
American Ethnology, 1892), "A Study of Siouan Cults" 
(Bureau of Ethnology, Eleventh Annual Report, 1894), and 
"Siouan Sociology" (Bureau of Ethnology, Fifteenth 
Annual Report, 1897). A paper by J. Mooney, "The Siouan 
Tribes of the East " (Bureau of Ethnology, Bulletin, 1894), 
gives a full discussion of the evidence regarding the original 
eastern habitat of the Sioux. Valuable reports have also 
been published by S. R. Riggs, A. C. Fletcher, and others. 
The best early authorities are Jonathan Carver, Travels 
through the Interior Parts of North America (1778); George 
Catlin, Letters and Notes, etc. (1841); and Prince Maxi- 
milian zu Wied, Travels in the Interior of North America 
(1843). An exhaustive bibliography up to 1887 will be 
found in Pilling, Bibliography of the Siouan Languages (1887). 

On the Blackfoot, consult H. Hale, " Report on the Black- 
foot Tribes" (British Association for the Advancement of 
Science, Reports, 1886); and for a popular account, G. B. 
Grinnell, Blackfoot Lodge Tales (1903). 

For the Pawnee or Caddoan family the available material 
is slight. The early travels already mentioned give some 
information; and of more modern work may be noted J. 
B. Dunbar, in Magazine of American History, IV.,V.,VIIL; 
G. B. Grinnell, Pawnee Hero Stories and Folk Tales (1889) 5 
and several papers by A. C. Fletcher on Pawnee ceremonials 
and myths, published in the Journal of American Folk- 
Lore, Reports of the Pcabody Museum, and under the auspices 

1580] AUTHORITIES 283 

of the Bureau of Ethnology. G. A. Dorsey is also publish- 
ing elaborate monographs on the myths and ceremonials, 
in the Field-Columbian Museum Reports. For the Kiowa 
the best information will be found in J. Mooney's admira- 
ble study, "The Calendar History of the Kiowa Indians " 
(Bureau of Ethnology, Seventeenth Annual Report, 1898). 


The bibliography of the Algonquian tribes is enormous. 
It will be found exhaustively treated in Pilling, Bibliography 
of the Algonquian Languages (1891). Of early works which 
may be especially recommended to the student are the Jesuit 
Relations; S. de Champlain, Les Voyages de la Nouvelle 
France Occidentale (1632); Jonathan Carver, Travels, 
etc. (1778); P. F. X. Charlevoix, Histoire et Description 
Generate de la Nouvelle France (1744) ; J. F. Lafitau, Mceurs 
des Sauvages Ameriquaines (1724). Most of these deal 
primarily with the Iroquois but have much of interest 
regarding the Algonquian tribes of the northeast. The 
Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society afford 
invaluable information regarding the New England tribes. 

J. G. E. Heckewelder, History of the Indian Nations 
Who Once Inhabited Pennsylvania and the Neighboring 
States (181 8; later ed., 1876), is the standard authority 
on the Delaware and contiguous tribes. Captain John 
Smith, Generall Historie of Virginia (1624), is the best early 
account of the southern tribes of the family. 

For the Ojibwa, T. L. McKenney, Sketches of a Tour 
of the Lakes (1827); C. Atwater, Indians of the Northwest 
(1850); G. Copway, Traditional History of the Ojibway 
Nation (1850); and W. W. Warren, "History of the 
Ojibway" (Minnesota Historical Society, Collections, 1885), 
are recommended. W. J. Hoffman, "The Midewiwin, or 
'Grand Medicine Society' of the Ojibwa " (Bureau of Eth- 
nology, Seventh Annual Report, 1891), is excellent on the 
religious ceremonials of the tribe. For the central Algon- 
quian tribes consult, in addition to the above, H. N. Beck- 


with, The Illinois and Indiana Indians (1884). This work 
covers particularly the historical period. 

For the Iroquois, J. C. Pilling, Bibliography of the Ir- 
oquoian Languages (1888), should be consulted. Of the 
early writers, the Jesuit Relations and the descriptions 
of Lafitau, Charlevoix, and Champlain, mentioned above, 
as well as G. Sagard, Le grand voyage du pays des Hurons 
(1632), are the best. The most authoritative work is 
of later date. Cadwallader Colden, History of the Five 
Indian Nations (1727), and D. Cusick, Sketches of Ancient 
History of the Six Nations (1828), are two important 
early accounts of the league. Incomparably the most 
notable of all the researches on the Iroquois are the works 
of L. H. Morgan, of which League of the Ho-de-no-sau- 
nee, or Iroquois (185 1), "Systems of Consanguinity," etc. 
(Smithsonian Institution, Contributions to Knowledge, 1871), 
and Ancient Society (1877), are the chief. These are all 
masterly treatises; and, while many of Morgan's more 
general theories and conclusions cannot be accepted, he 
remains practically unassailed in his statements of facts. 

H. Hale, Iroquois Book of Rites (1883), is also a scholarly 
piece of work and indispensable for the student. Both 
Morgan and Hale had the great advantage of intimate 
personal acquaintance with the Iroquois. W. M. Beau- 
champ has also published a number of papers of interest 
on the Iroquois, in the New York State Museum Bulletins. 
The introduction to F. Parkman, The Jesuits in North 
America (1867), gives a general discussion of the Indians 
with whom the Jesuits came in contact, and the whole 
book refers liberally and critically to the Relations. For the 
southern branch of the Iroquois family, the Cherokee, the 
monographs of C. C. Royce, "The Cherokee Nation of 
Indians " (Bureau of Ethnology, Fifth Annual Report, 
1887), J. Mooney, "The Sacred Formulas of the Chero- 
kee " (Bureau of Ethnology, Seventh Annual Report, 
1891), "Myths of the Cherokee" (Bureau of Ethnology, 
Nineteenth Annual Report, 1900), cover the ground and 
refer to the sources. 

1580] AUTHORITIES 285 

The Muskhogean family in the southeast can best be 
studied through A. S. Gatschet, Migration Legend of the 
Creek Indians (1884), an excellent monograph with critical 
references to the sources. J. C. Pilling, Bibliography of 
the Muskhogean Languages (1889), is, of course, invaluable 
for the literature. Of the early writers, James Adair, 
History of the American Indians (1775), is based largely on 
personal observation and is the best known, but should 
be read with caution. C. MacCauley, "The Seminole 
Indians of Florida" (Bureau of Ethnology, Fifth Annual 
Report, 1887), describes the Florida Seminoles of to-day. 


The literature of this region is voluminous. A general 
discussion of the tribes, somewhat old but with many 
references to the early writers, is H. H. Bancroft, The 
Native Races, etc. (1874). For a general description of 
the Navajo, W. Matthews, Navaho Legends (1897), may 
be recommended. Special articles on the Navajo by the 
same writer will be found in the second, third, and fifth 
Reports of the Bureau of Ethnology. A study of " Navajo 
Houses," by C. Mindeleff (Bureau of Ethnology, Seven- 
teenth Annual Report), should also be consulted. General 
popular works containing interesting descriptive matter are 
by G. W. James, Indians of the Painted Desert Region 
(1903); and G. A. Dorsey, Indians of the Southwest (1903). 
Neither of these works is critical. 

For the Yuman stock, W. J. McGee, "The Seri Indians " 
(Bureau of Ethnology, Seventeenth Annual Report, 1898), 
may be noted. For the Pueblo group, A. F. Bandelier, 
"Final Report of Investigations among the Indians of the 
Southwestern United States" (Archaeological Institute of 
America, Papers, 2 parts, 1 890-1 892), V. Mindeleff, "A 
Study of Pueblo Architecture " (Bureau of Ethnology, 
Eighth Annual Report, 1891), M. C. Stevenson, "The Sia " 
(Bureau of Ethnology, Eleventh Annual Report, 1894), 
and the various publications of F. H. Cushing and of J. 


W. Fewkes, should be consulted. Cushing's studies on the 
Zufii are especially brilliant, the best being " My Adventures 
in Zufii" (Century Magazine, December, 1882, February, 
1883, and May, 1883), "Zufii Fetiches" (Bureau of Eth- 
nology, Second Annual Report, 1883), "Pueblo Pottery as Il- 
lustrative of Zufii Culture Growth " (Bureau of Ethnology, 
Fourth Annual Report, 1886), and "Outline of Zufii Crea- 
tion Myths " (Bureau of Ethnology, Thirteenth Annual 
Report, 1896). Fewkes's papers are careful and detailed, 
and refer particularly to the ceremonials. The following 
may be noted : ' ' Provisional List of Annual Ceremonies at 
Walpi" (Internationales Archiv fur Ethnographie, VIII., 
1895), "Tusayan Katchinas " (Bureau of Ethnology, Fif- 
teenth Annual Report, 1897), and a series of studies on 
Tusayan ceremonies, in the sixteenth and nineteenth 
Annual Reports, Bureau of Ethnology. 

The Mexican literature can only be indicated. One of 
the best works on Mexican architecture is W. H. Holmes, 
"Archaeological Studies among the Ancient Cities of 
Mexico" (Field-Columbian Museum, Publications, 1895- 
1897). On the general culture of the Aztec, A. F. Bandelier's 
epoch-making studies contain critical references to the 
sources and should be the starting-point of all work on 
that subject. They are: "On the Art of War and Mode 
of Warfare of the Ancient Mexicans " (Peabody Museum, 
Tenth Annual Report, 1877), "On the Distribution and 
Tenure of Lands, etc., among the Ancient Mexicans" 
(Peabody Museum, Eleventh Annual Report, 1878), and 
"On the Social Organization and Mode of Government of 
the Ancient Mexicans " (Peabody Museum, Twelfth An- 
nual Report, 1 880), An Archaeological Reconnoissance into 
Mexico (no date) ; G. Briihl, Die Cultur-volker Alt-Amerikas 
(1875), will also be found useful. 


The information in this field is usually included in 
general descriptive studies. L. H. Morgan, "Houses and 

1580] AUTHORITIES 287 

House -Life of the American Aborigines" {Contributions 
to North American Ethnology, 1881), sums up the facts 
with regard to Indian dwellings as far as they were avail- 
able at the time it was written. A general review will 
also be found in F. Ratzel, History of Mankind, II. 
(1897). Ratzel' s treatment is not exhaustive and is un- 
satisfactory, but the work is very well illustrated. 

The food quest is, of course, noticed in all the general 
works which have been mentioned. A. P. Jenks, "The 
Wild -Rice Gatherers of the Upper Lakes," etc. (Bureau 
of Ethnology, Nineteenth Annual Report, 1900), is a good 
study of a single phase of the subject. Indian economics 
is a problem much in need of special investigation. 


The best authority on this subject is O. T. Mason, and 
his books, Woman's Share in Primitive Culture (1894) and 
The Origins of Invention (1901), while not confined to 
America in their scope, are trustworthy and especially 
satisfactory in their treatment of the Indians. A number 
of studies by the same author, and by C. Rau and others, 
on special topics in this field, will be found in the pub- 
lications of the Smithsonian Institution. F. S. Dellen- 
baugh, The North Americans of Yesterday (1901), also 
considers Indian industrial life at some length. 

On pottery the numerous papers of W. H. Holmes, in 
the Reports of the Bureau of Ethnology, are the best ; and 
on basketry, O. T. Mason, Aboriginal American Basketry 
(1904), is exhaustive and authoritative. 

There is no good work on Indian warfare. 


The chief authority on social organization is L. H. 
Morgan, whose Ancient Society (1877) is still the best work 
in the field. Morgan's other publications, Houses and 
House-Life, noticed above, and his Systems of Consanguinity, 


etc. (1871), also contain much information. For Mexico 
the works of A. F. Bandelier, already mentioned, are the 
best, and for the northwest the studies of F. Boas are 
the authorities. The general reader will find a remarkable 
condensation of the work of Morgan and Bandelier in the 
introduction to John Fiske, Discovery of America (1892). 
In his treatment of the Iroquois and Aztec, Fiske is 
judicious; but his more general views are open to much 
objection. Special studies of significance are J. W. Powell, 
"Wyandot Government" (Bureau of Ethnology, First 
Annual Report, 1881); J. O. Dorsey, "Omaha Sociology" 
(Bureau of Ethnology, Third Annual Report, 1884), and 
" Siouan Sociology," Bureau of Ethnology, Fifteenth Annual 
Report, 1897). 


E. B. Tylor, Primitive Culture (2 vols., 187 1), is the 
standard work on primitive religion, and is good in its 
treatment of American religious ideas. It also gives full 
references. The special studies on Indian religion are all 
in connection with inquiries bearing on mythology and 
ceremonials. D. G. Brinton, Myths of the New World 
(1868), and American Hero Myths (1882), are the only 
comprehensive works of value. They are dogmatic and 
untrustworthy, though learned. The American Folk- 
Lore Society, organized in 1888, publishes a Journal and 
a series of Memoirs, in which there is much material 
of great value. Several institutions, particularly the 
American Museum of Natural History and the Field- 
Columbian Museum, are also devoting attention to the 
collection of myths from special stocks, and the results 
may be found in their regular publications. Of the 
published collections, the following may be especially 
recommended: S. T. Rand, Legends of the Micmacs (1894); 
E. Petitot, Traditions Indiennes du Canada Nord-Ouest 
(1886); F. Boas, Indianische Sagen (1895); W. Matthews, 
Navaho Legends (1897); J. A. Teit, Thompson River Indian 


Traditions (1898) ; and J. Mooney "Myths of the Cherokee " 
(Bureau of Ethnolog}* - , Nineteenth Annual Report, 1900). 

Descriptions of ceremonials will be found in the works 
noted under special regions and in the publications of 
the Bureau of Ethnology, the American Museum of 
Natural History, and the Field-Columbian Museum. The 
literature is too extensive to be cited in detail. 

On the practices of shamans, J. G. Bourke, "Medicine- 
Men of the Apache " (Bureau of Ethnology, Ninth Annual 
Report, 1892), will be found instructive; and on customs 
connected with death and burial, H. C. Yarrow, Intro- 
duction to the Study of Mortuary Customs among the North 
American Indians (1880), and " A Further Contribution 
to the Study of Mortuary Customs " (Bureau of Eth- 
nology, First Annual Report, 1881) should be consulted. 


There is no general review of Indian art. The best 
special studies are: F. W. Putnam, "Conventionalism in 
Ancient American Art" (Essex Institution, Btdletin, 1886) ; 
W. H. Holmes, "Origin and Development of Form and 
Ornament in Ceramic Art " (Bureau of Ethnology, Fourth 
Annual Report, 1886), " Study of Textile Art in Its Relation 
to the Development of Form and Ornament " (Bureau of 
Ethnology, Sixth Annual Report, 1888), also other papers 
by the same author in the Reports of the Bureau of Eth- 
nology; F. Boas, "Decorative Art of the Indians of the 
North Pacific Coast " (American Museum of Natural 
History, Bulletin, IX., 1897); A. L. Kroeber, " Decorative 
Symbolism of the Arapaho " {American Anthropologist, 
III., 308, 1901). 


Abnaki, Algonquian, 150. 

Adaize family, 175. 

Adoption custom, 204, 243. 

Agriculture, fruits, 45; cereals, 
46-50; sugar products, 50; 
hay, 51; cotton, 51; tobacco, 
52; vegetables, 53; influence 
of products on national de- 
velopment, 53; Sioux, 135; 
Pawnee, 142 ; Algonquian, 
151, 152; Pueblo, 184; Aztec, 
213; Indian, 222, 223; bibli- 
ography, 275. 

Algonquian family, tribes, 92 ; 
migrations, 98; plains tribes, 
143, 144; seat, 148, 149; 
location of tribes, 149, 150; 
physique, 150; divergent cult- 
ure, 151; agriculture, 152; 
houses, 152; social organiza- 
tion, 152; religion, mythol- 
ogy. 153; southern tribes, 
163, 164; western tribes, 
165; picture-writing, 165; 
present condition, 269; bibli- 
ography, 283. 

Alligator, economic value, de- 
crease, 67. 

Animal life, wild, range, 54; 
relation with Eurasian 
fauna, 55-58; deer family, 
5 8-6 1 ; sheep , 61; musk-ox , 
62; buffalo, 62-64; fur-bear- 
ing animals, 65-67; animals 
valuable for hide, 67; birds, 
67; fish, 68; Indian domestic 
226; bibliography, 275, 276. 

Antiquity of man. See 

Apache, Athapascan, culture, 

Apalache, Muskhogean, 167. 

Appalachian system, extent and 
character, 9; Hudson River 
gap, 9; northern group, 9; 
central division, 9; central 
valley, 10; age, 14; portages 
over, 29; land routes over, 

Arapaho, plains Algonquian, 


Archaeology, evidences of gla- 
cial man, 70; palaeolithic re- 
mains, 71, 78; cave deposits, 
73; status of mound-builders, 
73, 81; distribution of re- 
mains, 73, 74; classification, 
74; mounds, 75; enclosures, 
76; hut-rings, 76; garden- 
beds, 77; quarries and work- 
shops, 77, 78; copper-mining, 
77; graves, 78; shell mounds, 
78; comparative study, 79; 
ornaments, 79; stone objects, 
80; human images, 80; 
weapons, 80; tools and uten- 
sils, 81; remains of Indian 
origin, 81, 85, 86; cliff- 
dwellings, 83 ; cave- dwellings, 
84; pueblos, 84; Great Houses, 
85; irrigation, 85; origin of 
man, 87; bibliography, 276. 

Art, Eskimo, 107 ; of northwest 
coast tribes, 115; conven- 




tionalized animal motives, 
116, 258; of northern interior 
tribes, 121; Sioux, 137; 
Navajo, 179; Mexican, 190, 
192 ; personal ornamentation, 
230-232, 260; interwoven 
with religion and sociology, 
249, 261; development of 
decorative, 257; distribution 
of types of design, 258; 
decoration and symbolism, 
258-260; dance, 260; music, 
260; bibliography, 289. 

Athapascan family, tribes, 92, 
118; migration, 96, 97; name, 
117; distribution, 117; uni- 
formity, 118; culture, 119; 
social organization, 119, 120; 
religion, 120, 121; art, 121; 
mythology, 122; industrial 
life, 122, 123; physique, 124; 
in California, 129; south- 
western tribes, 1 76-18 1 ; pres- 
ent condition, 270; bibliog- 
raphy, 280, 285. 

Atlantic coast, peninsulas, 5; 
indentations, 5-7; plain, 11; 
drainage, 13; climate, 17; 
islands, 19 ; portages to Missis- 
sippi Valley, 29; land routes 
to Mississippi Valley, 30-34; 
to Great Lakes, 31; forests, 

Attacapan family, 93, 175. 
Aztec. See Mexico. 

Band, Pawnee, 142; Kiowa, 
143; and tribe, 209. 

Barley, crop, distribution, 49. 

Basketry, development, im- 
portance, 234; methods, 234, 
235; decoration, 259. 

Beaver, extinction, 66. 

Bella Coola. See Northwest 

Beothukan family, 93. 

Bibliographies of Indians, 278. 

Birds, extinction of game, 67. 

Bison. See Buffalo. 

Blackfoot, plains Algonquian, 
143, 148; confederacy, 144; 
culture, 144; bibliography, 

Blood revenge, 198, 247. 

Braddock's Road, t>Z- 

Buckwheat crop, 49. 

Buffalo, tracks, 31; original 
range, 62; extermination, 62; 
economic value, 64; influence 
on Siouan culture, 134; plains 
manitou, 250; bibliography, 

Burial customs, Choctaw, 174; 
general, 250, 251; bibliogra- 
phy, 289. 

Burning ceremony, Maidu, 131. 

Busk, Creek, 170-172. 

Caddoan family, 93. See also 

Calaveras skull, 70. 

California, aboriginals, 70, 82; 
Indian stocks, 130; physique, 
130; groups, 130, 131; Maidu 
ceremonial, 1 3 1 ; bibliography 
on Indians, 281. 

California Trail, 38. 

Cannibalism, 226, 243. 

Canoe, bark, 24, 237; skin, 106, 


Catawba, Siouan, 175. 

Cave-dwellings, remains, 83. 

Cayuga, Iroquoian, 153. 

Central America. See Mexico. 

Central basin, 8; variations, 10; 
plains, 10; prairies, 11; drain- 
age, 13. See also Mississippi 

Cereals, corn, 46-48; wheat, 48; 
oats, 49; barley, 49; rye, 49; 
buckwheat, 49; rice, 50. 

Ceremonials, northwest coast, 
115; Maidu burning, 131; 
Sioux sun-dance, 138-140; 
Pawnee sacrificial, 142 ; Creek 
green -corn dance, 170-172; 
Navajo, 180; Pueblo, 186, 187; 
Mexican, 192; relating to 



names, 203; dress, 230, 260; 
war-dance, 245; develop- 
ment, 253; manitou invoca- 
tions, 250; ghost-dance, 254; 
importance of dance, 260; 
bibliography, 289. See also 

Cherokee, and mound-builders, 
82; Iroquoian, 155, 166; size, 
166, 246; civilization, 166; 
present condition, 270; bibli- 
ography, 284. 

Cheyenne, plains Algonquian, 
144; and whites, 146, 147. 

Chickahominy, Algonquian, 
confederation, 164. 

Chickasaw, Muskhogean, 167, 

Chief, Sioux, 141; Pawnee, 142; 
Algonquian , 152; I ro quois , 
156, 159; Creek village, 168, 
169; Mexican, 191; duties, 
199, 200; indefinite term, 
200; qualifications, 200; im- 
portance, 200; election, 210; 
existence and authority of 
tribal, 211; Aztec confeder- 
acy, 214; evolution, 214. 

Chilcotin, Athapascan, 118. 

Chimakuan family, 93. 

Chimarikan family, 93. 

Chimmesyan family, 93. 

Chinookan family, tribes, 93; 
seat, contact with plateau 
tribes, 125; importance, 125; 
divisions, 125; culture, 126, 
127; physique, 126; head- 
deforming, 126; jargon, 126; 
bibliography, 281. 

Chippewyan, Athapascan, 118. 

Chitimachan family, 93, 175. 

Choctaw, Muskhogean, 167; ag- 
ricultural, 174; head-deform- 
ing, 174; burial customs, 174. 

Chumashan family, 93. 

Clan, no Eskimo, 108; north- 
west coast, 112; lacking in 
northern interior, 119, 120; 
Sioux, 140; and band, 142, 

143; Algonquian, 152; Iro- 
quois, 157-161; importance, 
161, 168, 195, 198, 201 ; Creek, 
168; Pueblo, 186; Mexico, 
192; and family, 195; totem, 
195; double relationship, 196; 
exogamy, 196; female de- 
scent, 196-198, 268; blood 
revenge, 198; civil functions, 
199; sachem and chief, 199— 
201 ; inherited privileges, 199; 
ownership of real property, 
201, 268; inheritance of per- 
sonal property, 202; adop- 
tion, 204; council, 204; con- 
trol of elections, 207, 210; 
basis of confederacy ,210,212. 

Class distinctions, 114, 129, 

Cliff- dwellings, race, 73, 85, 
86; remains, 83, 219. 

Climate, severity, 4; variety, 
17; rainfall, 17. 

Coahuiltecan family, 93. 

Coal, importance and distri- 
bution, 15. 

Coast-line, influence on history, 
4; peninsulas, 5; indenta- 
tions, 5. 

Columbia River tribes, 125- 
127; bibliography, 281. 

Comanche, plains Shoshonean, 
119; characteristics, 144; and 
whites, 146, 147. 

Conestoga, Iroquoian, 155. 

Confederacies, Blackfoot, 144; 
Iroquois, 155- 157, 161; 
Powhatan, 164; Illinois, 166; 
Creek, 172; Aztec, 188, 213; 
origin, 212, 215; basis, 212; 
number, 212; temporary, 
213; general similarity, 213; 
evolution, 213; military ef- 
fect, 246. 

Connecticut Path, 31. 

Copehan family, 93. 

Copper, aboriginal mining, 77. 

Coracle, 137, 237. 

Cordillera, general character, 



7; ranges, 7; volcanic, 8; 
highest peak, 8; plateau, 12; 
age, 14; forests, 40, 43, 44. 

Corn, crop, 46; nativity, 46; 
distribution, yield, 47. 

Costanoan family, 93. 

Costume, clothing, 229, 230; 
ceremonial dress, 231, 260; 
hair-dressing, 230; personal 
ornaments, 231; painting, 

Cotton, beginning of culture, 
51; growth of production, 
52; crop, 52; seed products, 

Council, Iroquois league, 155- 
157; Iroquois clan, 159; Iro- 
quois tribe, 160 ; Creek village 
168, 172; clan, universal in- 
stitution, 204; free speech, 
205; authority, 205, 267; 
importance, 205; tribal, 210. 

Cree, Algonquian, 149. 

Creek, Muskhogean, physique, 
167; social organization, 168; 
war titles, 169; classes, 169; 
arrangement of village, 169; 
" Great House" and "Council 
House," 169, 170; green-corn 
dance, 170-172; position of 
woman , 172; confederacy , 

172, 246; initiation of mili- 
tary measures, 172; down- 
fall, 173; present condition, 

173, 270. 

Culture hero, Algonquian, 153; 

general, 255-257. 
Cumberland Gap, importance, 

30, 3 2 » 34- 
Cumberland Road, 33. 

Dance, importance, 260. See 
also Ceremonials. 

Deer family, economic im- 
portance, 58; white-tailed, 
59; mule-deer, 59; elk, 59; 
moose, 60; caribou, 61 ; prong- 
horn antelope, 61; bibliog- 
raphy, 276. 

Delaware, Algonquian, 150; 
seat, 163. 

Descent, Eskimo male, 108; 
mixed, of northwest coast 
tribes, 112, 129; Sioux male, 
140; Pawnee male, 142; Al- 
gonquian female, 152; Iro- 
quois female, 157; Creek 
female, 168; Pueblo female, 
186; general female, 196- 

Disease, Indian susceptibility, 

Dog, Eskimo use, 106; Sioux 
use, 134; Indian domesti- 
cated, 225; in harness, 236. 

Dogrib, Athapascan, 118. 

Drainage, systems, 13, 14; con- 
tinental watershed, 14; bibli- 
ography, 272. 

Dugout, in, 238. 

Eastern woodland groups. See 
Algonquian, Cherokee, Iro- 
quoian, Muskhogean. 

Economic life, Indian, charac- 
ter of trails, 31; value of 
buffalo, 64; not nomadic, 96, 

99, 215, 216; number, 99, 

100, 216; Eskimo, 105-107; 
of northwest coast tribes, 
no; their credit system, 
113; of northern interior 
tribes, 122-124; migration of 
culture, 124; Sioux, 134-137; 
Pawnee, 142; Kiowa, 143; 
Algonquian, 151, 152; Na- 
vajo, 177-180; Havasupai, 
181; Pueblo, 184, 1 85; houses, 
2 1 7-2 2 1 ; woman's work, 221; 
food, 222-224, 226; hunting, 
224; cooking, 225; domes- 
ticated animals, 225; canni- 
balism, 226, 243; acquaint- 
ance with metals, 227; raw 
materials, 227; uneven dis- 
tribution of arts, 228; skin- 
dressing, 228, 229; clothing, 
229; pottery, 232-234; bas- 



ketry, 234, 235 ; weaving, 235 ; 
transportation, 235-238; use 
of fire, 239; fire-making, 239, 
240; war, 240-247; bibliog- 
raphy, 286, 287. 

Eskimauan family, groups, 94 ; 
origin of name, 103; dis- 
tribution, homogeneity, 103, 
108, 109; origin, 104; phy- 
sique, 105; dependence on 
sea animals, 105; houses, 
106; lamp, 106; sledge and 
canoe, 106, 236, 237; art, 
107; music, 107; religion, 
107; social organization, 108; 
fire - making, 240; bibliog- 
raphy, 279. 

Esselenian family, 94. 

Ethnology, Indian, classifica- 
tions, 88; physical charac- 
teristics, 89, 90, 262-264; 
variations, 90, 262; linguistic 
characteristics, 90; linguistic 
stocks, 91-96; dispersion, 
family migrations, 96-98; 
number, 99, 100, 216; gradual 
decrease, 100; stocks and 
culture, 100; grouping by 
geography and culture, 101; 
Eskimo, 105; of northwest 
coast tribes, no; of northern 
interior tribes, 124; Chinook, 
126; of California tribes, 130; 
inequality of linguistic dis- 
tribution, 132; Sioux, 133; 
Pawnee, 141; Kiowa, 143; 
Algonquian , 150; Muskho- 
gean, 167; Navajo, 177; 
Pueblo, 184; individualistic, 
201, 205; ideas not segre- 
gated, 249, 261; suggestibil- 
ity, 252, 254; innate ability, 
263, 264; senses, 264; ethics, 
264; character, 264 ; stoicism 
and hysterical temperament, 
265; susceptible to disease, 
266 ; hospitality, 266 ; in- 
fluence of public opinion, 

Family, Eskimo basis, 108; and 
clan, 195. 

Fire-making, 239, 240. 

Fisheries, economic importance, 
68; salmon, 68; cod, 68; 
other salt-water, 68; fresh- 
water, 69. 

Five Nations. See Iroquoian. 

Food, Eskimo, 106; northwest 
coast tribes, in; influence 
on migration and culture, 
125, 130, 134, 151, 216; 
Klamath, 128; California 
tribes, 131; Sioux, 135; 
Ojibwa wild rice, 151; wild 
vegetable, 222, 223; cul- 
tivated plants, 223; animal, 
223; hunting, 224; cooking, 
225; cannibalism, 226, 243; 
taboos, 226; bibliography, 
287. See also Agriculture. 

Forbes's road, 33. 

Forests, extent, 39, 40; north- 
ern belt, 40; division of 
Pacific belt, 40; eastern coni- 
fers, 41 ; eastern hardwoods, 
41; destruction, 42; southern 
conifers, 42; Florida, 42; 
Pacific conifers, 43; Pacific 
hardwood, 44; Cordilleran, 
44; southwestern, 44; his- 
torical importance, 44; nuts, 


Fox, Algonquian, 150. 

Frontier, influences on advance- 
ment, 29, 34. 

Fruits, distribution, variety, 45. 

Fur-bearing animals, carnivora, 
65 ; historical importance, 
65; weasel family, 66; ro- 
dents, 66; beaver, 66; seal, 
66; sea-otter, 67. 

Geology, age of North Amer- 
ica, 14. See also Physiog- 

Government. See Clan, Con- 
federacies, Social organiza- 
tion, Tribal. 



Grand Pass portages, 28. 

Great Indian War Trail, 32. 

Great Lakes, system, 12; as 
route of travel, 24; portages 
to northwest, 24-26; to Mis- 
sissippi Valley, 24, 26, 27; 
to Ottawa River, 25; to 
Hudson River, 27; Indian 
trail to Hudson, 31. 

Great plains, character, 10; 
Indian stocks, 132; Sioux, 
133-141; Pawnee, 141-143; 
Kiowa, 143; Algonquian 
tribes, 143, 144; societies, 
144; sign language, 145; and 
whites, 146, 147; bibliog- 
raphy, 281. 

Haida. See Northwest coast. 

Hair- dressing, 230. 

Harbors, Atlantic, 5-7 ; Pacific, 

5- 6. 
Hare, Athapascan, 118. 
Havasupai, Yuman, home, 181. 
Hay crop, 51. 
Head-deforming, Chinook, 126, 

Choctaw, 174; practice, 231. 
Heiltsuk. See Northwest 

Hiawatha and Iroquois league, 

r 55- 

Hopi Indians, and cliff-dwell- 
ers, 86; pueblos, 183. 

Horse, among Nez Perce, 124; 
among Sioux, 124; among 
Kiowa, 143; Indian acquire- 
ment, 226; use for transpor- 
tation, 236. 

Hospitality, 202, 266. 

House, cliff-dwelling, 8^, 219; 
cave-dwelling, 84; pueblo, 
84, 85, 182, 219; Eskimo, 
106, 218; of northwest coast 
tribes, in; of northern in- 
terior tribes, 123, 124; Kla- 
math, 128; Sioux; 135, 136; 
tipi, 135, 217; Pawnee, 142; 
Kiowa, 143; Algonquian, 
152; Iroquois long house, 157, 

161, 217; Cherokee, 167; 
Creek, 169, 170; Navajo, 178; 
Mexican, 190, 220; types, 
217—220; wigwam, 217; un- 
derground lodges, 218; in- 
fluence of social organization, 

Hudson River, gap, 9; portages 
to Great Lakes, 27; to St. 
Lawrence, 28; trail to Great 
Lakes, 31. 

Human sacrifice, 142, 193, 250. 

Hunting method, 224. 

Hupa, Athapascan, 118. 

Huron, Iroquoian, 155. 

Illinois, Algonquian, 150; con- 
federacy, 165. 
Indians, archeology, ethnology. 
See these titles. 

Culture by groups: Eskimo, 
103 - 109; northwest coast 
tribes, 109 -116; northern 
interior tribes, 1 17-125; Ore- 
gon tribes, 125-129; Cali- 
fornia, tribes, 130, 131; great 
plains stocks, 132 - 147; 
Algonquian, 148-153, 163- 
166; Iroquois, 153-162; Cher- 
okee, 166; Muskhogean, 167- 
175; southwest non - pueblo 
tribes, 176-182; Pueblo, 182- 
187; Mexico and Central 
America, 187 - 194; South 
America, 194. For details, 
see these titles and families 
arid tribes by name. 

Economic and social life. 
See these titles, also Agricult- 
ure, Art, Clan, Confederacy, 
Military affairs, Mythology, 
Religion, Tribe. 

Relation with whites: plains 
tribes, 146, 147; effect on 
military affairs, 247; present 
relations, effect of miscon- 
ception of character, 267; es- 
tablishment of private prop- 
erty, 268; wrong - headed 



enthusiasm, 268; difficulties 
of administration, 268; gen- 
eral legislation, 268; reser- 
vation system, 269; present 
condition of stocks, 269, 270; 
probable absorption, 271. 

Bibliography: general, 277; 
on linguistics, 278; on special 
divisions, 279-286; on houses 
and home life, 286; on food, 
287; on industrial life, 287; 
on social organization, 287; 
on religion and mythology, 
288, 289; on art, 289. 

Industrial life. See Economic 

Inheritance. See Descent. 

Iron, importance and distribu- 
tion, 15. 

Iroquoian family, war trail, 31 ; 
tribes, 93, 153; migrations, 
seat, 98, 148, 153; origin of 
league, 155; council of 
league, 155, 156; lack of 
executive, 156, 157, 211; 
success and effect of league, 
157, 161, 246; destruction of 
outlying tribes, 157; social 
organization, 157-161; long 
houses, 157, 158; position of 
woman, 158, 159; clan, 159; 
phratries, 160, 207; tribe, 
160; military operations, 160, 
evolution of league, 214; 
present condition, 269; bibli- 
ography, 284. 

Irrigation, remains of systems, 
85; Pueblo, 184; Aztec, 213. 

Islands, 19, 22. 

Kalapooian family, 94; in 

Willamette Valley, 127. 
Karankawan family, 94, 175. 
Keresan family, 94; pueblos, 

Kickapoo, Algonquian, 150. 

Kiowan family, 94; charac- 
teristics, 143; and Shosho- 
neans, 143; secret organiza- 

tions, 145; sign language, 
145; and whites, 146, 147; 
bibliography, 283. 

Kitunahan family, tribes, 94; 
culture, 118; religion, 121. 

Klamath, Lutuamian, culture, 

Klikitat, Shahaptian, in Willa- 
mette Valley, 127. 

Koluschan family, tribes, 94. 
See also Northwest coast. 

Kulanapan family, 94. 

Kusan family, 94. 

Kutchin, Athapascan, 118. 

Kwakiutl, mixed inheritance, 
112; name-pawning, 203. See 
also Northwest coast. 

Lakes of North America, 12. 

Language, Indian, character, 
90; classification by, 91, 92; 
families, 92-96; Chinook jar- 
gon, 126; unequal distribu- 
tion of families, 132; sign, 
145; bibliography, 278. 

Lewis and Clark route, 35. 

Lutuamian family, tribes, 94; 
culture, 127, 128. 

Mackenzie River tribes. See 

McKinley, Mount, highest 
peak, 8. 

Maidu, burning ceremonial, 131. 

Manatee, economic value, pro- 
tection, 67. 

Mandan, Sioux, agriculture, 
135; nouses, 136; stockade, 

Manibozho, Algonquian cult- 
ure hero, 153. 

Manitou, 138, 153, 249, 250, 256. 

Maricopa, Yuman, 181. 

Mariposan family, 94. 

Marriage, Eskimo, 108; exoga 
my, 112, 140, 157, 196; Sioux 
polygamy, 140; Pueblo mo- 
nogamy, 186. 

Maskoki. See Muskhogean. 



Massachusset, Algonquian, 150. 

Maya-Quiche. See Mexico. 

Medicine-man, training, 120, 
121,251; cure of sickness, 152, 
265; development of priest- 
hood, 252; bibliography 289. 

Menominee, Algonquian, 150. 

Messianic ideas, 254-256. 

Metals, in United States, 16; 
aboriginal acquaintance, 79; 
Indian acquaintance, 227. 

Mexico, Gulf of, climatic in- 
fluence, 7,17; plains, 12. 

Mexico tribes, variety, 187; 
Aztec confederacy, 188, 211, 
213; Maya-Quiche, 188; in- 
fluence of European culture, 
189; culture at conquest, 
189, 191, 193; ruins, 189-191, 
220; social organization, 191; 
industrial life, 192; art, 192; 
religion, 192; hieroglyphics, 
193; function of phratry, 
207; human sacrifice, 250; 
bibliography, 286. 

Miami Trail, S3- 

Micmac, Algonquian, 150. 

Migrations, indications of early, 
96; Athapascan, 97; Sioux, 
97; Algonquian, 98; Indians 
not nomadic, 99, 216. 

Military affairs, war-trails, 31- 
33 ; campaign organization 
and initiative, 160, 172, 211, 
244; Creek war titles, 169; 
continual state of war, 241; 
training, 241; weapons, 241- 
243; art, 243; adoption, tort- 
ure, 243; scalping, 244; 
warrior's reputation, 244; 
voluntary service, 245 ; 
formal declaration of war, 
245; authority of leaders, 
245; war-dance, 245; return 
from war-path, 245; charac- 
ter of inter-tribal wars, 245; 
effect of confederations, 426; 
incentive to war, 246; in- 
fluence of whites, 247. 

Minerals, variety and distribu- 
tion, 15, 16; sufficiency, 16. 

Mississippi Valley, variations, 
10; great plains, 10; prairies, 
11; drainage, 13; portages to 
Great Lakes, 24, 26, 27; to 
Atlantic slope, 29; land 
routes to Atlantic slope, 
30-34 ; north and south trails, 
32, 33; routes to Pacific 
slope, 35-38. For Indians, 
see Great plains, Eastern 

Modoc, Lutuamian, culture, 

Mohave, Yuman, 181. 

Mohawk, Iroquoian, 153. 

Mohegan, Algonquian, 150. 

Moquelumnan family, 94. 

Mound-builders, race, 73, 81; 
remains ,75. See also Archae- 

Mountain-sheep, 61. 

Mountain systems, Cordillera, 
7; Appalachian, 8-10; and 
settlement, 2^. 

Music, Eskimo, 107; Indian, 
260; instruments, 261. 

Musk-ox, 62. 

Muskhogean family, tribes, 94, 
167; Creek, 168-173; Semi- 
nole, 173; Timacua, 174; 
Choctaw, 174; Chickasaw, 
174; present condition, 270; 
bibliography, 285. 

Mythology, northwest coast, 
115, 129; northern interior, 
121; Algonquian, 153; 
genesis, 254; culture hero, 
255; his incongruous charac- 
ter, 256; animal, 257; dis- 
tribution of myths, 257; 
bibliography, 288. See also 

Nahane, Athapascan, 118. 
Nahua. See Mexico. 
Names, customs concerning, 



Narraganset, Algonquian, 150. 

Natchesan family, 94, 175. 

Navajo, Athapascan, and cliff- 
dwellers, 86; origin, 176; 
physique, 177; character of 
seat, 177; prosperous, 177; 
earlier condition, 178; social 
organization, 178; houses, 
178; position of woman, 179; 
industrial life, 179; blankets, 
180; ceremonials, 180; bibli- 
ography, 285. 

Nemacolin's Path, 32; becomes 
Braddock's Road, 33. 

Neutral Nation, Iroquoian, 155. 

New England, portages to St. 
Lawrence basin, 28; land 
routes to New York, 31. 

New York harbor, importance, 

Nez Perce, Shahaptian, 118; 
houses and horses, 124, 218. 

Northern interior tribes, dis- 
tribution of culture, 117- 
119; social organization , 119; 
religion, no, 121; art, 121; 
mythology, 122; industrial 
life, 122—124; houses, 123, 
124; migration of culture, 
124; physique, 124; bibliog- 
raphy, 280. 

Northwest coast tribes, reason 
for grouping, 109; tribes, 
no; physique, no; depend- 
ence on sea-life, no; dugout, 
in, 238; houses, in; totem 
poles, in; social organiza- 
tion, 112; credit system, 113; 
desire for wealth, 114; classes, 
114, 129; religion, 114, 115, 
129; ceremonials, 115; my- 
thology, 115, 129; art, 116; 
transition, 116, 129; bibliog- 
raphy, 279-281. 

Oats, crop, distribution, 49. 

Ojibwa, Algonquian, 149; in- 
dustrial life, 151; wild rice, 
151; secret society, 151; 

survival, 269; bibliography, 

Oneida portage, 27. 

Oneida tribe, Iroquoian, 153. 

Onondaga, Iroquoian, 153. 

Oregon Trail, 37. 

Oregon tribes, contact with 
plateau tribes, 125; Chinook, 
125-127; in Willamette Val- 
ley, 127 ; Klamath and Modoc, 
127, 128; coast tribes, 128, 
129; bibliography, 281. 

Ornamentation, of costume, 
230; bodily, 231. 

Ottawa, Algonquian, 150. 

Pacific coast, peninsulas, 5; 
indentations, 6; valleys, 12; 
drainage, 14; climate, 17-19; 
islands, 22; forests, 40, 43; 
routes to Mississippi Valley, 

Painting of face and body, 232. 

Palaihnihan family, 94. 

Pamunkey, Algonquian, con- 
federation, 164; survival, 164. 

Parfleches, decoration, 137,259; 
manufacture, 229. 

Pawnee, Caddoan, 93; seat, 
141; physique, 141; social 
organization, 141; agricult- 
ure, 142; houses, 142; re- 
ligion, 142; secret organiza- 
tions, 145; sign language, 
145; and whites, 146, 147; 
present condition, 270; bibli- 
ography, 282. 

Peninsulas, 5. 

Pequot, Algonquian, 150. 

Phratry, in northwest coast 
tribes, 112; Iroquois, 160; 
origin, functions, 206-208. 

Physiography, influence on cult- 
ure, 3, 4, 22, 38; climate, 4, 
17; coast-line, 4-7; moun- 
tain systems, 7-10; central 
basin, 8, 10-11; Atlantic 
plain, n; Gulf plain, 12; 
great plateau, 12; Pacific 



valleys, 12; lakes, 12; drain- 
age, 13, 14; watershed, 14; 
geological age, 14; mineral 
wealth, 15-17; rainfall, 17; 
islands, 19, 22; portages, 24- 
30; land routes, 30-38; 
forests, 39-45; bibliography, 
272; bibliography on his- 
torical importance, 273; bib- 
liography on routes, 273- 
275; bibliography on forests, 

. 2 75- 
Piman family, 94. 

Pipe, symbolic decoration, 137. 

Population, Indian, 92, 100, 216. 

Portages, importance, 24, 25; 
Great Lakes-Northwest, 24- 
26; Great Lakes- Mississippi, 
24, 26, 27; Huron - Ottawa, 
25; Ontario - Mohawk, 27; 
Hudson - St. Lawrence, 28; 
St. Lawrence-New England, 
28; Atlantic-Mississippi, 29; 
bibliography, 273, 274. 

Potato, crop, distribution, 52. 

Potlatch, 113. 

Potomac tribe, Algonquian, 
confederation, 164. 

Pottawotomi, Algonquian, 150. 

Pottery, archaeological, 79; 
Pawnee, 142; Pueblo, 185; 
development, 232; clay-tem- 
pering, 233; method, 233; 
form and decoration, 234; 
bibliography, 287. 

Powhatans, Algonquian, con- 
federacy, 164; characteris- 
tics, 164. 

Priesthood, development, 252. 

Property, Sioux private, 140; 
Navajo private, 178, 179; 
Pueblo real, 186; Mexico 
clan, 192; clan ownership of 
real, 201; personal, 202; at- 
tempt to establish private, 
268. See also Descent. 

Pueblo Indians, archaeological 
remains, 84; and cliff-dwell- 
ers, 86 , 219; meaning of word, 

182; pueblos, 182, 219; num- 
ber of pueblos, 182; stocks 
represented, 183; physique, 
184; agriculture, 184; irri- 
gation, 185; duties of the 
sexes, 185; social organiza- 
tion, 185; religion, 186; cere- 
monials, 187, 253; pottery, 
233; bibliography, 285. 
Pujunan family, 94. 

Rainfall, 17. 

Religion, Indian, Eskimo, 107; 
of northwest coast tribes, 
114, 115, 129; supernatural 
helper, 114, 120, 129, 251; 
Athapascan, 120, 121; Maidu 
burning ceremony, 13 t; 
Sioux, 138-140; manitou, 
I 3 8 > J 53> 249; Pawnee, 142; 
human sacrifice, 142, 193, 
250; Kiowa, 143; Algon- 
quian, 153; Creek ceremo- 
nials, 170-172; Navajo cere- 
monials, 180; Pueblo, 186, 
187; Mexican, 192; canni- 
balism, 226, 243; animism, 
248, 250; interwoven with 
sociology and religion, 249, 
261; manitou and great 
spirit, 249; cult of class 
manitous, 250; ceremonials, 
250; burial customs, 250, 
251; multiplicity of souls, 
251 ; medicine-man, 251 ; cure 
of sickness, 252; develop- 
ment of priesthood, 252; 
development of ceremonials, 
253; prophets, Messianic 
ideas, 254-256; bibliography, 
288, 289. See also Mythol- 
Rice, wild, 50, 151, 233; cul- 
tivated, introduction, 50; 
crop, distribution, 50. 
Rivers, drainage systems, 13, 
14; factor in settlement, 23, 
24; portages, 24-29. 
Rocky Mountain goat, 61. 



Rocky Mountains, system, 7; 

watershed, 14. 
Rye crop, 49. 

Sachem, Iroquois league, 155, 
156; Iroquois clan, 159, 160; 
civil officer, 199; hereditary 
in clan, 199; election and 
deposition, 199, 210. 

St. Lawrence River, as route 
of travel, 24; portages to 
Hudson, 28; to New Eng- 
land, 29. 

Salinan family, 95. 

Salishan family, tribes, 95; 
culture, 118, 119; social or- 
ganization, 119; houses, 123. 

Santa Fe Trail, 36. 

Sarcee, plains Algonquian, con- 
federacy, 144. 

Sastean family, 95. 

Sauk, Algonquian, 150. 

Scalp-lock, 230; scalping, 244. 

Scioto Trail, 32. 

Seals, importance of fisheries, 
66; protection and exter- 
mination, 66; bibliography, 

Secret societies, of plains Ind- 
ians, 145; Mide, of Ojibwa, 
151; Pueblo, 186; general, 


Seminole, Muskhogean, 167; 
offshoot of Creeks, 173; and 
whites, 173. 

Seneca, Iroquoian, 153. 

Senses, Indian acuteness, 264. 

Seri, Yuman, 181. 

Shahaptian family, tribes, 95; 
seat, 1 18; culture, 118, 119; so- 
cial organization, 119; salmon 
fisheries, 124, 125; houses, 
124; horses, 124; physique, 
125; in Willamette Valley, 
127; bibliography, 280. 

Shawnee, Algonquian, 150; 
social organization, 165; salt 
manufacture , 165; warlike , 

Shoshonean family, tribes, 9s; 
migrations, 98; distribution, 
118; culture, 119; social or- 
ganization , 119; influence 
of salmon fisheries, 124; 
physique, 125; plains tribes, 
144-147; pueblos, 183; pres- 
ent condition, 270. 

Shuswap, Salishan, 118. 

Siouan family, tribes, 95; mi- 
gration, 97; physique, 133; 
seat, 133, 175; origin, 134, 
137; influence of buffalo, 
134; horse and dog, 134; 
industries, 134; utensils, 135; 
food, 135; houses, 135, 136; 
coracle, 137, 237; art, 137; 
religion , 138; ceremonials, 
138; mythology, 138; sun- 
dance, 138-140; social or- 
ganization, 140; property, 
140; government, 141; secret 
organizations, 145; sign lan- 
guage, 145; and whites, 146, 
147; confederacy, 246; pres- 
ent condition, 270; bibliog- 
raphy, 282. 

Skin-dressing, 228, 229. 

Skittagetan family, 95. 

Slave tribe, Athapascan, 118. 

Slavery among Indians, 205. 

Sledges, 236. 

Snow-shoes, 236. 

Social organization, Indian, Es- 
kimo, 108; of northwest 
coast tribes, 112-114, 126, 
129; classes, 114, 129, 201; 
Athapascan, 119, 120; Sioux, 
140, 141; Pawnee, 142; secret 
societies, 145, 151, 186, 253; 
Algonquian, 152, 164, 165; 
Iroquois, 155-161; Creek, 
168-170, 172; Navajo, 178; 
Pueblo, 186; Mexico, 191; 
clan, 195-205; exogamy, 196; 
female inheritance, 196-198; 
blood revenge, 198; clan 
government, 199-201, 205; 
property, 201, 202; impor- 



tance of name, 202-204; 
adoption, 204; settlement of 
disputes, 204; slavery, 205; 
phratry, 206-208; tribe, 208- 
212; confederacy, 212-214; 
development of tribe and 
confederacy, 215; and form 
of house, 220; position of 
woman, 221, 266; inter- 
woven with religion and art, 
249, 261; social ambition, 
267 ; influence of public opin- 
ion, 267; bibliography, 287. 
See also Art, Mythology, 

Sources, on travel, 273, 274; 
on plains Indians, 282; on 
Algonquian, 283; on Iro- 
quois, 284; on myths, 288. 

South American Indians, cult- 
ure, 194. 

Southwest tribes, bibliography, 
285. _ See also Apache, 
Navajo, Pueblo, Yuman. 

Spanish Trail, 36. 

Sugar, maple, 45, 151; cul- 
tivation of cane, 50; of beets, 

Sun-dance of plains stocks, 

Susquehannock, Iroquoian, 155. 

Taculli, Athapascan, 118. 

Takilman family, 95. 

Tafioan family, 95 ; pueblos, 183. 

Tattooing, 129, 231. 

Thompson tribe, Salishan, 118. 

Timuquanan family, 95, 174. 

Tipi, 135, 217. 

Tlingit, tribes, 94. See also 
Northwest coast. 

Tobacco crop, distribution, 52. 

Tonikan family, 95, 175. 

Tonkawan family, 95. 

Tools, achaeological, 80. 

Torture, 243. 

Totem, poles, 11 1; and clan- 
ship, 195. 

Travel, importance of rivers, 

23, 34; St. Lawrence basin 
route, 24; portages, 24-29; 
Atlantic - Mississippi land 
routes, 30-34; character of 
Indian trails, 31, 236; New 
England - New York land 
routes, 31; Atlantic - Great 
Lakes land routes, 31; routes 
in Mississippi Valley, 32- 
35; Mississippi - Pacific 
routes, 35-38; Eskimo modes, 
106; Indian land transpor- 
tation, 236; water trans- 
portation, 237, 238; bibliog- 
raphy, 273-275. 

Tribal organization, no north- 
ern Athapascan, 119; Sioux, 
141; Algonquian, 152; Iro- 
quois, 156, 160; control over 
clan elections, 160, 210; and 
Creek village, 168; and 
Pueblo village, 185; charac- 
teristics, 208; and band, 209; 
tendency towards disintegra- 
tion, 209; council, 210; chief, 
211; intertribal relationship, 

Tribute in Mexico, 192. 

Tsimshian. See Northwest 

Tuscarora, Iroquoian, 155; join 
league, 157. 

Uchean family, 95, 175. 

Union. See Confederacies. 

Ute, Shoshonean, 119. 

Utensils, archaeological, 80; 
Sioux, 135; material of Ind- 
ian, 227. 

Village, Eskimo, 108; Creek 
relation to tribe, 168; ar- 
rangement, 169; Pueblo, 185; 
permanent Indian, 216. 

Waiilatpuan family, 95. 
Wakashan family, 95. 
Walrus, economic value, 67. 
Wampanoag, Algonquian, 150, 



War. See Military affairs. 

Warrior's Path, 32. 

Washoan family, 96. 

Waterways, and settlement, 23 ; 
means of transportation, 24, 
106, in, 137, 237. See also 
Great Lakes, Portages, 

Weapons, archaeological, 80; 
Indian bow and arrow, 241, 
242; tomahawk, 242; javelin, 
242; spear, 242; shield, 242; 
armor, 243. 

Weaving, Navajo, 180; Pueblo, 
185; Indian, 235. 

Weitspekan family, 96. 

West Indies, physiography, 19. 

Wheat, introduction, 48; crop, 
distribution, 48; export, 49. 

Wilderness Road, 33. 

Wishoskan family, 96. 

Woman, position and duties, 

Sioux, 140; Iroquois, 158, 
159; Creek, 172; Navajo, 
179; Pueblo, 185; Indian, 
221, 266. 
Writing, Algonquian picture, 
165; Mexican hieroglyphics, 

Wyandot, Iroquoian, 155. 

Yakima, Shahaptian, 118. 

Yakonan family, 96; culture, 
128, 129; mythology, re- 
ligion, 129; classes, 129; in- 
heritance, 129. 

Yanan family, 96. 

Yellow Knives, Athapascan, 

Yukian family, 96. 

Yuman family, 96; tribes, 181; 
bibliography, 285. 

Zunian family, 96 ; pueblo, 183. 




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